Tolerance! Please!


       What is it with us? It seems we are bent to begin new millennium with yet another year of frustration, protest and anger.

       Pounding the wheel of your car in frustration, inching to work. Protesting with anyone who is different and might dare to share a different view. Anger at a life you thought might be free of frustration and protest.

       My wish for this brand new millennium is that we embrace each other more, talk kindly to each other more and show what it is to be a true believer in Jesus Christ. I'm not talking about compromising our Christian values, there has been too much of that, but it seems we have lost our caring, our understanding and our patience.

       2 Corinthians 6:1 "As we work together with Him we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain."

       Paul, the writer of 2 Corinthians, gives all of us a model to promote our principles, morality and virtue. In verse 6 Paul says we can do this " purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love..."

       A woman called me the other day accusing me of being a racist because I condemned a foul mouthed rap singer on the air of being a bad role model. I asked the woman if she knew my heart. She said no. I asked if she went to church weekly. She said yes. If you go to church every week, and you don't know my heart, then why in the world would you call me such and hateful word? She had no response, but I do.

       The Word when faithfully preached and fully received betters us. Christ challenges us by showing that we need to be changed from the inside-out, not the outside-in. (see Matthew 5:3-10 the Beatitudes)

       We are only truly blessed and a blessing to others when we are the example of humility, mercy and purity.

       The living God makes it possible for us to follow His example. We are called to share with those who have ears but do not hear. Shine for those who have eyes but do not see. Touch those who are untouchable. In 2001, let's reflect the character of Christ in each of us.

Bill Martin is a multiple winner of Emmy and Associated Press Awards for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. He was also inducted into the Ohio Television/Radio Hall of Fame in 1999.