Tolerance is the disposition to be patient with or indulgent to the opinions or practices of others; freedom from bigotry or undue severity in judging the conduct of others; forbearance; universality of spirit.Century Dictionary To be tolerant is to be inclined to tolerate the beliefs, practices, or traits of others; forbearing.Century Dictionary

“Tolerance of evil indulges evil.”—Edna Lister

  Tolerance here on earth properly is rooted in the principles of nonresistance and compassion. However, never allow tolerance to become permissiveness, a moral or ethical taint, permitting evil. Tolerance of evil is evil. Political correctness is an example of debilitating permissiveness. Forbearance is the term most often used in the Bible in place of tolerance.

Edna Lister on Tolerance

Give deeply of tolerance. Everyone has a place in the Father’s heart, and shall bear fruit. Some souls are all of love, some all of wisdom. See to it that you balance one with the other. Always seek to be more tolerant in your thoughts and statements.–Edna Lister, August 25, 1938.

Constantly express tolerance (be tolerant) of all religions, points of view and ways of life, realizing that everyone is in the right place where he stands at the present time. We are all children of God.–Edna Lister, February 14, 1946

When you become pure tolerance, you no longer see less than this in the outer.–Edna Lister, Jesus’ Prayer of the Ages, April 27, 1947

When you’re tolerant, you don’t think or talk about becoming tolerant. One who says, I’m tolerant, is talking about it. You do not know you are tolerant, you just are.—Edna Lister, May 29, 1953

The subconscious makes you work to learn tolerance. When you ascend into comprehension, compassion descends and you express tolerance.–Edna Lister, I Surrender, July 4, 1954

When someone talks about being tolerant, it’s a sure sign that he’s buried intolerance in his subconscious mind. You do not boast about being tolerant. Boasting includes a claim on a virtue and means one is chuck full of opinions and prejudices.–Edna Lister, August 11, 1955

Buddhism cultivates tolerance through contemplation and seeking comprehension of the ALL. This is not enough. To apply tolerance, you must live in the world and learn how to agree and adjust.–Edna Lister, Eightfold Path of Buddha, June 23, 1959

Devotion to God as a Father gives you the tolerance and the ability to live with men.–Edna Lister, The Crown of Thorns, July 7, 1963

We need tolerance. Intolerance closes off the Power for sublimation and the body sinks, for it cannot do without the rarified substance from above.–Edna Lister, March 18, 1965

Tolerance minds its own business, covers the sins of others, and gives others the benefit of the doubt.–Edna Lister, Ancient Myths and Mysteries, May 11, 1965

One who has become the law of tolerance comprehends the love of God and has no idea of such a thing as intolerance. If you can talk about it, you haven’t yet become tolerance. When you are tolerant, you never use the word.–Edna Lister, Faculties, Unfolding Full Seership and Prophecy, December 14, 1965

The law of tolerance gives no sanction to evil. When you are tolerant, you are no longer aware of strife because you have become the law.–Edna Lister, Choice, Your Glorious Foundation, October 16, 1966

As you work toward compassion, you become tolerant.–Edna Lister, All Healing Comes Through Beauty of Soul, May 16, 1967

Compassion is the highest vibration of tolerance. The true criterion of tolerance is, How am I affecting my world? If you ask, What is this doing to me? you are neither tolerant nor compassionate. Instead, say, Lord, let me be Thy Light in this dark place.–Edna Lister, November 13, 1967

Faith requires tolerance; if you see it, lift it and otherwise ignore it.–Edna Lister, The Seven Vials of Wrath, June 23, 1970

You live by three laws: Fidelity, which means being faithful, tolerance, which does not see, that is, choose to recognize evil, and fortitude, which means lifting it all.–Edna Lister, The Blind Man at the Pool of Siloam, December 6, 1970

The subconscious mind does not want to practice tolerance.–Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1924-1971

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Stories That Illustrate Tolerance

Jesus Heals the Syro-Phoenician Woman’s Daughter I: He went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid. For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.
  And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.–Mark 7:24-30.

Healing the Syro-Phoenician Woman’s Daughter II: Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
  Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.–Matthew 15:21-28.

The Samaritan Woman at the Well: Then cometh [Jesus] to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
  Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
  Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?–John 4:5-27

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New Testament on Tolerance

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.–1 Corinthians 13:4-7

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.–Ephesians 4:1‑3

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.–Colossians 3:12-13

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By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.–Proverbs 25:15

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of tolerance: Latin tolerare, tolerat-, "to bear."

Tolerance is a soul virtue.


Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia. Wm. D. Whitney and B.E. Smith, eds. and comps. New York: The Century Co., 1896.

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).