July 27 I Wednesday
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” —Matthew 7:6
In Jesus’s teaching on the Sermon on the Mount, He talks about judging and how we ought to examine the plank in ourselves before removing the speck of sawdust in others. Jesus says, “with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” In other words, if we are gentle, it will be gentle, but if we are harsh and hostile, it will be harsh and hostile. As Christians, we should seek to nurture accountability within community and to speak into one another’s lives, but we are to do so gently, with an eye to build each other up, not to tear each other down. If we lovingly approach someone and they are a sincere Christ-seeker who’s straying away from their walk with Jesus, it may actually be met with gladness.
But Jesus closes this section by warning that some people would not be open to having the speck of sawdust removed; hence, we must practice discernment as we seek to help others. Jesus teaches, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” (Matthew 7:6). If we seek to share something that is sacred, or a pearl of wisdom, and, as we are doing it, the person is behaving in a way that tramples the pearls and turns to tear us apart, do not belabour the issue.
Proverbs 9:7-8 tells us, “Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.” Sometimes, even if we are gentle and loving, we may encounter people who do not want to hear it; they do not want to have any truth spoken into their lives, even if it is spoken in love. If someone is hostile to the message, shake the dust off and maybe circle back with them at a later time.
The late evangelist Billy Graham lived by a simple rule as he shared the good news of Jesus: “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love.” What would the world look like if the church was simply mobilizing itself to love others and leave the convicting, judging and weighing in on every topic to God?
As Billy Graham lived out, our job is to love others. The Holy Spirit will bring conviction of the truth we share, and God will judge the hearts and minds of humanity.
Prayer: Lord God, thank You for the reminder that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, Your job to judge and my job to love. Even if my loving words to build up my brother or sister are met with hostility, I pray that You will continue working mightily in our lives.