Central Haywood church of Christ

Serving God from the mountains of North Carolina



When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, you fed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me, and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing, and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don’t.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn’t feel good, and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it’s all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I learned most of life’s lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, “Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.”

(Written by a former child)


We live in a world where it is an unforgivable sin is to be intolerant of others. Those same people who are quick to point out that someone is “intolerant” are themselves incredibly intolerant of others. They seem to be tolerant of almost anything except Christian values. As soon as someone says they are a Christian or they attend church, there instantly labeled as intolerant.

I think we need to define this word tolerance. The worldly definition of tolerance seems to be “accepting all views as true.” [1] Whereas, Oxford’s dictionary says “showing tolerance (of a plant, animal, or machine), able to endure specified conditions or treatment.” [2]

Is tolerance really about just accepting their views are correct? Does God really expect me to just accept someone’s view as true, just because it’s someone’s view? Truthfully, I can hold to all kinds of ideas about all kinds of things, but just because they are my views does not make them right. Obviously if I hold a certain view I believe it to be right but am I really correct?

I think this gets to the real problem most have with tolerance. We live in a world that does not want anyone to tell them they are wrong. Friends the bible I read says that I cannot just accept everything as true. God expects His followers to question all things (1 Thess. 5:21) and hold to the good. The very words good and bad imply that something’s are right and others wrong. To make matters worse, the world’s use of tolerance violates a simple law of logic. The law states that if we have two contradictory statements there are only three viable options. One is right and the other is wrong or both statements are wrong. We cannot have all contradictory views being correct. If Jesus is not the only way to heaven (John 14:6) then what is the right way?

So are you intolerant of anothers belief simply because they differ from yours? Excuse me but I thought we lived in a country where having an opinion was ok or even desirable. The bible is very clear on this. I must differentiate between what is good and what is bad. But in the process I cannot forget that the same bible tells me to treat people fairly, to love them, and to try to help them find the truth about God and salvation.

True tolerance does not require you to be ignorant and blind to the truth.


[1] Ted Cabal, Chad Owen Brand, E. Ray Clendenen, Paul
Copan, J.P. Moreland and Doug Powell, The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight
Answers, Stronger Faith (Nashville, TN:
Holman Bible Publishers, 2007). 1882.

[2] Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson, Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

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