By, Isam Itson III
Matthew 7:6 – “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”
Recently I saw a father shopping in the store with his two small children. The youngest was around two years old. He was pushing the shopping cart while she was walking between his legs, holding on to the bottom of the basket, and crying angrily. He stopped walking and picked her up. She almost fell to the ground as she twisted around in his arms and grabbed hold of the handle of the shopping cart. Her father was barely holding on to her legs while she was suspended parallel to the ground. But she did not want to let go of the handle. She got what she wanted.
The child wanted to hold the same handle as her father was holding. But she was too small. The father could not navigate through the store allowing his child to steer while he held her legs. He knew better than her. But that did not stop her from being angry with him when he made her let go and placed her inside the basket.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, God leads us through many circumstances that refine our faith and increase our wisdom. Sometimes we see people making choices contrary to what God has graciously revealed to us through our life experience and the teaching of his word. We rightly desire to share with them what God has so freely revealed to us. We don’t want them to experience unnecessary pain or difficulty. We know their desired choice of action will not work out well for them.
Sometimes though, people are not always ready to accept our offer. Whether they are a family member, co-worker, or fellow church member, we are often tempted to take their rejection of our offer to help them personally. With God’s help, we must do our best to keep our hearts and minds open to those who reject our offer of advice.
All of us at one time were not open to the good news that God is with us and we can trust him with our lives. And if we are honest, at various times since submitting to God and putting our faith in Jesus Christ we have been resistant to counsel from other people that later proved to be very wise. Thankfully, most of us received grace from our elder brothers and sisters in Christ when we were too immature, shortsighted, or proud to accept their counsel.
When Jesus speaks of us not casting our pearls before swine and treating others the way we want to be treated, he is really just instructing us to treat others the way God has treated us. Over time and through the ups and downs of life, the hardest heart may be softened toward God. Or not. God accepts this fact, and we also need to accept it. In the meantime, we just need to stay on point, honoring God with our own choices, and trusting his infinite love for others to bring them around. Or not. No matter how much we love someone, God loves them more. Their resistance is a test of our faith in God’s power, wisdom, love, and faithfulness to everybody.
1. Thank God for revealing his wisdom for life to you, and live in light of his wisdom.
2. Accept that other people have the right to reject your input.
3. Keep loving others as they grow in their relationship with Christ.