Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Casting Our Pearls Before Swine

By Allen White 

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

We’ve all heard the phrase “casting our pearls before swine.” It’s a derogatory statement. “I gave them my best idea, and they just didn’t appreciate it. It’s like casting pearls before swine.”

Dogs and pigs weren’t appreciated in Hebrew culture. In fact, calling someone a “dog” in the Middle East is very insulting. Pigs, of course, are “unclean” animals and forbidden food for the Jews.

Living in Jesus’ new covenant, however, we know that both dogs and pigs are wonderful – provided you’re petting the former and eating the latter. We like our pork low and slow with just the right sauce. Don’t be hatin’ on the pig.

But, what use does a dog have with something sacred? And, what use do pigs have for pearls? None. While we would pair a pig with a great dry rub and a favorite sauce, we wouldn’t pair a pig with pearls. An apple in its mouth is a more appropriate accessory.

Dogs have no use for sacred things. Pigs have no use for pearls. Dogs do enjoy pigs’ ears, but we won’t go there. Pigs prefer mud.

What is useful to some is useless to others. If I’m buying or selling a house, then I need a realtor. If I’m happy in my house, then I don’t really need a realtor. That may be short-sighted (realtors, please leave your comments below).

If I have a pain in my body, then I need a doctor’s advice. If I’m not hurting, then I probably won’t heed any advice. When a bearing is going out on my car, I’m suddenly interested in hub assemblies. Otherwise, I’m not tuned into the hub assembly channel. You get the idea.

Often we become frustrated, because the people we’re trying to share Christ with or those we’re challenging to grow spiritually aren’t receptive. Maybe they don’t understand the benefits. Maybe they don’t feel the pain. Maybe we’re giving them the wrong information at the wrong time. The solution is to continue praying for them and back off. Work on something or someone else for a while. Find someone who appreciates pearls, but don’t call anyone a “pig.”

Who refuses to listen to your advice? What person is frustrating you these days? Are you offering what they need or just what you think they should have? Pause, and read that question again.

Pray for an opportunity. Wait for an opportunity. But, most of all let God do His work. Sometimes the best thing we can do is talk to God, and then let God talk to the other person. God knows exactly what they need.
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