25 Bible Verses About Tolerance (With Commentary)

Tolerance, often heralded as a cornerstone of peaceful coexistence, is a virtue extolled in many religious and philosophical traditions. In the Bible, tolerance finds expression through principles of love, acceptance, and understanding.

Let’s explore some verses that emphasize the importance of tolerance, urging believers to embrace diversity and extend grace to those with differing beliefs and backgrounds.

Also Read: Bible Verses About Women’S Hair

Bible Verses About Tolerance

Romans 14:1

“Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.”

This verse emphasizes the importance of tolerance and acceptance in the Christian community. It calls for believers to be understanding and patient with those whose faith may not be as strong or who may hold different opinions on non-essential matters. Rather than engaging in unnecessary arguments or division, Christians are called to show love and acceptance towards one another.

1 Corinthians 8:9

“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”

This verse speaks to the concept of tolerance in relation to one’s freedom and rights. It urges believers to consider the impact of their actions on those who may have weaker faith or who may be easily led astray. Tolerance in this context means being mindful of others and refraining from actions that could hinder their spiritual growth or cause them to stumble.

Colossians 3:13

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

In this verse, tolerance is tied closely to forgiveness. It reminds believers to be patient with one another and to extend forgiveness just as God has forgiven us. Tolerance in this context means not holding grudges or harboring resentment towards others, but instead choosing to let go of grievances and restore relationships through forgiveness.

Galatians 6:2

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

This verse highlights the importance of bearing one another’s burdens, showing tolerance towards the struggles and challenges faced by others. It encourages believers to support and help each other, demonstrating empathy and understanding. Tolerance here involves being willing to come alongside others, providing comfort and assistance as needed.

Ephesians 4:2

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

This verse promotes an attitude of humility, gentleness, and patience in dealing with others. It calls for believers to tolerate differences and to show love even in challenging situations. Tolerance, in this context, means choosing to respond with kindness and grace, recognizing that we are all imperfect and in need of God’s mercy.

Matthew 5:44

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

This verse challenges believers to extend tolerance even towards those who may oppose or mistreat them. It calls for a radical love that goes beyond the boundaries of personal preference or comfort. Tolerance, in this case, means responding with love and forgiveness, rather than seeking revenge or harboring hostility.

1 Peter 4:8

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

This verse emphasizes the importance of love as a guiding principle in relationships. It encourages believers to show deep love towards one another, recognizing that love has the power to overcome differences and faults. Tolerance, in this context, means choosing to focus on love rather than minor disagreements or shortcomings, fostering unity and harmony within the Christian community.

James 4:11

“Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.”

This verse warns against the harmful practice of speaking negatively about and judging others. It calls believers to avoid slander and instead show tolerance by refraining from making harsh judgments or spreading negativity. Tolerance, in this context, means choosing to speak words of encouragement and building others up, rather than tearing them down.

Luke 6:37

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

This verse cautions against the act of judgment and condemnation. It teaches believers to show tolerance by refraining from passing judgment on others and instead choosing to forgive. Tolerance, in this case, means recognizing that God alone is the ultimate judge and choosing to extend grace and forgiveness rather than condemnation.

John 13:34-35

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

In these verses, Jesus commands his disciples to love one another in the same way he has loved them. It emphasizes that love is a distinguishing mark of true discipleship. Tolerance, in this context, means choosing to love others regardless of their differences or shortcomings, allowing our love for one another to be a powerful testament to our faith.

Mark 12:31

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Jesus declares that loving our neighbors as ourselves is second only to loving God with all our hearts. Tolerance, in this verse, means treating others with kindness and respect, recognizing the inherent worth of every individual, and acknowledging that love should guide our actions towards our fellow human beings.

1 Thessalonians 5:14

“And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”

This verse calls believers to various acts of tolerance, such as warning the idle and disruptive, encouraging the disheartened, helping the weak, and being patient with everyone. It reminds us of the importance of showing tolerance towards those who may be struggling or in different stages of their faith journey. Tolerance here means providing support and guidance to help others grow in their faith.

Titus 3:2

“to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”

This verse encourages believers to refrain from slandering others and to demonstrate peace, consideration, and gentleness towards everyone. It stresses the importance of showing tolerance by choosing words and actions that promote unity and understanding rather than division or hostility.

Romans 15:7

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

This verse calls believers to accept one another just as Christ has accepted us. It urges us to demonstrate tolerance by embracing and welcoming others, regardless of their backgrounds or differences. Tolerance, in this context, means creating an environment of love and acceptance that brings glory to God.

Luke 17:3b-4

“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

Jesus teaches the importance of forgiveness and tolerance in this passage. It emphasizes the need to offer forgiveness repeatedly, even when someone continues to sin against us. Tolerance, in this case, means choosing to forgive others and not allowing their mistakes or offenses to hinder our ability to extend grace and reconciliation.

Galatians 5:22-23

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

This verse highlights the fruit of the Spirit, which includes forbearance, or patience. It teaches believers to cultivate a spirit of tolerance towards others through the power of the Holy Spirit. Tolerance, in this context, means being patient and understanding, allowing the Spirit to help us respond to others with grace and compassion.

James 2:1

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.”

James admonishes believers not to show favoritism towards certain individuals. Tolerance, in this verse, means treating everyone with equal respect and dignity, regardless of their social status, appearance, or background. It emphasizes the need to value each person as equal in the eyes of God and to demonstrate tolerance by not discriminating or playing favorites.

1 Corinthians 1:10

“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

In this verse, Paul urges believers to be united in mind and thought, avoiding divisions. Tolerance, in this context, means striving for unity and understanding within the Christian community. It calls for believers to prioritize love and harmony, setting aside personal differences and opinions for the sake of the greater purpose of advancing the gospel.

Matthew 7:12

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Jesus teaches the principle of treating others as we would want to be treated. Tolerance, in this verse, means extending to others the same kindness, generosity, and respect that we desire for ourselves. It calls believers to put aside judgment and criticism and instead prioritize empathy and compassion in their interactions with others.

Romans 12:16

“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”

This verse encourages believers to live in harmony with one another and to avoid pride and conceit. Tolerance, in this context, means being willing to associate with and show respect to people of all positions and backgrounds. It promotes an attitude of humility and inclusivity that fosters unity and understanding among believers.

Proverbs 19:11

“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”

This proverb underscores the virtue of patience and the importance of overlooking offenses. Tolerance, in this verse, means choosing to forgive and move past minor offenses instead of holding onto resentment or seeking revenge. It highlights the value of wisdom in responding to others with grace and understanding.

Psalm 133:1

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”

This psalm celebrates the beauty and desirability of unity among God’s people. Tolerance, in this verse, means actively pursuing and fostering an environment of unity and inclusion. It encourages believers to set aside personal differences and preferences for the greater purpose of glorifying God and advancing His Kingdom.

Philippians 2:3-4

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

These verses call believers to a posture of humility and selflessness. Tolerance, in this passage, means valuing others above oneself and prioritizing their interests. It challenges believers to overcome selfishness and ego, choosing to demonstrate empathy and consideration towards others.

What Does the Bible Say About Tolerance?

In the Bible, we find several teachings about tolerance. Jesus demonstrated tolerance through His interactions with people who were different from Him, such as tax collectors, sinners, and Samaritans. He showed love and acceptance to those who were marginalized or seen as outcasts by society.

Paul, in his letters, encourages believers to live in harmony with one another, showing tolerance and acceptance towards one another despite differences in opinion, background, or culture. In Romans 15:7, he exhorts us to “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

While the Bible calls us to stand firm in our faith and not compromise our beliefs, it also teaches us to be understanding and respectful of others. We are called to be peacemakers and to show kindness and tolerance towards all, regardless of their beliefs or way of life.

Tolerance, as seen in the Bible, involves respecting others, being slow to anger, and seeking to understand others, even when we disagree. It does not mean that we abandon our convictions, but that we approach others with love and grace, just as God has shown us. Jesus summarized this idea when He said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).

Therefore, as Christians, our call to tolerance is rooted in love, compassion, and understanding, reflecting the nature of Christ and the example He set for us.