Zero Tolerance

By Linda Tancs

We often hear news reports about zero-tolerance policies, often because they’ve been violated by way of harassment, discrimination, violence or other things. In our own lives, we establish zero-tolerance policies, too. Parents establish zero-tolerance policies with their children around behavioral issues like disobedience, lying and stealing. Spouses establish zero-tolerance policies concerning issues like adultery and abusive behavior. Individually, we resolve (especially around the New Year) to stop tolerating our own proclivities toward indecisiveness, fear, impatience and a host of other attributes.

The Bible encourages a zero-tolerance policy against ungodly thoughts, words and behaviors (Romans 13:14). The best way to enforce the policy is to look for wisdom (Romans 12:2) and perspective (Philippians 4:8) as your anchors.

Does your policy need updating?

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

Oh, No You Don’t

By Linda Tancs

Writer and poet Khalil Gibran once wrote that we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty and obey only love. That’s pretty much the foundation for the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17). Those rules illustrate our ideal relationship with God (verses 3 through 11) as well as our relationship with others (verses 12 through 17).

Have you ever wondered why so many are written as negative injunctions (thou shalt not) rather than positive ones (thou shalt)? The discipline of social psychology did not yet exist, but the basis for the commandments’ efficacy may lie there. According to some scientists, we judge the violation of a “shalt not” more harshly than the failure to observe a “shalt.” So for the sake of an ordered society, we probably need more “shalt nots” in the form of proscriptions against theft, murder and deception as dictated in the commandments. And for the sake of our relationship with God, we need proscriptions against idolatry and defamation to define, develop and enhance our relationship with Him. Regardless of the form of the injunction, though, we learn through the Ten Commandments to love God and love His children, something Jesus would later say sums up all of the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:35-40).