We all know that God has a serious problem with sin, but why
can’t he be less demanding and more understanding of our imperfections? We may
think something like Why can’t God just be more forgiving
and overlook our weaknesses and failures? If he is truly loving he
should be more tolerant of our shortcomings, right?
The reality is that God is merciful, but that isn’t
quite the same as being tolerant. First, many people fail to understand the
seriousness of sin and the great cost to God personally to forgive us our sins.
When we see the combination of his holiness and justice we gain a greater
understanding of his mercy. And that will go a long way to answering why he
can’t tolerate sin and yet can be merciful at the same time.
There is a reason God can’t stand sin. You see, his
core nature is holy and pure. There is no impurity of motive or action with
him, for he is perfect and without sin. (See Deuteronomy 32:4; Isaiah 54:5; and
Revelation 4:8.) So a holy God cannot be in relationship with sin in any
manner. The Bible says of him, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you
cannot tolerate wrong” (Habakkuk 1:13 niv). He is
so holy that he “cannot allow sin in any form” (Habakkuk 1:13). To do so would
violate the very essence of who he is.