Tolerance is a virtue that has a special relationship with our neighbors. Tolerance is patience exercised in relation to people and helps to endure, without vengeful resentment, the perverse behavior of others towards us. This virtue is mentioned in Gal. 5:22 as a necessary fruit to be able to cope as a good disciple/anointed of the Lord to those brothers who test our patience. To support and maintain this provision is necessary for the preservation of unity in the Church. It is not enough to be united in faith, it is not enough to be united in prayer, the fruit of tolerance and patience are cultivated and linked by Love, which is the perfect bond.
Eph. 4:2 speaks of 4 fruits: Humility, Meekness, Patience, and Love. Humility and meekness have to be accompanied with tolerance and patience to deal with people. They are the prerequisite to be able to comfortably support each other in this path that consists of patience. And why this? To “[ENDEAVOR] TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BOND OF PEACE” (Eph.4:3), as Paul says.
It is time to put aside those indifferences between the brothers, those who have time not to speak for some friction in the past, others for just or unjust reasons do not dare to go to other camps. And what would we say about that pastor who needs to lay down his life for the sheep? Should he not receive a Christian? An anointed of God? An officer? I think he is not cooperating with the truth if he does not receive them. 3 Jn. 8 “We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.” We believe that the anointed of Christ must be clothed with the fruits of the Spirit.
Col. 3:14 “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” He is speaking as of a rich garment that covers and gives value and shine to all the others. Note, on all these magnificent qualities, we are asked to be clothed in Love, which is the ligament of Perfection, and the Church must be perfectly united. Love is the bond (ligament that unites perfectly the anointed ones to its Church) ligament, (or bond) that perfects, crowns, and gives value to all the other virtues. Without the girdle of love, all other garments are useless, that is, they sell the body dangerously, loosely, remember, “When you feel love, you will do the whole work.” Love is the fulfillment of God’s law because love does not do the neighbor, but what is good, Eph.4:2, “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love…” Remember, the necessary provisions for the preservation of unity here in the Church are 4 and are cultivated and linked by Love, which is the perfect bond.
First, Paul mentions 1) Humility, which means in a few words, “the feeling of smallness”, recalls that being humble in heart is praised, Mt.11:29 “…learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart… “ even in the very Son of God, Phil. 2:6. And smallness, (not “baseness” since it involves a low moral condition) is recognized as the indispensable basis for the exercise of genuine humility, Lk.1:48.
2) Meekness, Mt. 5:3,5 is the daughter of humility – just as irritation and rebellion are daughters of pride. Look at the scriptures, which in the Old Testament, Meekness was the specific virtue of the good Israelites who patiently suffered their ill-treatment, and instead of personally taking revenge on this unjust behavior of others, they took refuge in the Lord. In the New Testament it refers almost always to the activity which the servant/Christian is to keep in relation to others, 1 Cor.4:21; 2 Tim. 2:25; Tit.3:2, it is an indispensable requirement, not only to be endured but also for mutual subjugation, Eph.5:21 “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
Humility and meekness are virtues of those who want to live in Christ’s likeness, it is required in a total and constant manner for the specific attitude Paul mentions, Eph.4:2 “…forbearing one another in love” Therefore we see that what Paul indicates here is that humility and meekness are constantly accompanied by Patience, which leads us to think that he speaks of long-suffering, breadth of mind, patience to deal with people—these are the prerequisites to be able to comfortably support each other to the Church, synonymous with long-suffering, tolerance.