“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.
Matthew 7:6 NLT
I find it quite telling that this verse about not casting pearls to shine is at the end of a passage on “not judging others”. With concern to this verse, it might be more rightly understood as a passage about “not criticizing” rather than about “not judging”.
Let’s look at the whole passage:
For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.
Matthew 7:2-6 NLT
Contrary to worldly, false teaching, and moral relativism’s philosophy — this passage doesn’t say “ignore the specks”. It doesn’t say “never judge”. It doesn’t say “let everyone do as they will”.
No, it says, “Don’t be a hypocrite. If you criticize those who aren’t seeking your advice, be prepared for the consequences.”
They can see your shortcomings too, so if your attitude is opposition, that is what you will receive in turn. If your “wise advice” about “their shortcomings” is uninvited and unwelcomed, be prepared for them to point out your shortcomings in a self- defensive and offended posture and for the whole circumstance to be unprofitable in the moment for either of you, and even prove hurtful and harmful to you — because it is YOU who needs correction, and the Lord loves you enough to bring that correction TO YOU through them in that moment.
What is missing in critique and unwelcomed criticism that dooms the moment to one getting trampled? It isn’t because you are so high and holy and perfect, and because they are so lowly and flawed and imperfect — it’s that when you see yourself in that perspective to others, that even a pearl of truth is useless and powerless to you, and you will fall defeated because of your pride.
Yes, truth wielded in pride will result in a fall. The Lord resists the proud. And “the religious hypocrites” are quite adept at “making the Word of God of no effect” through their handling down edicts and traditions and requirements and expectations that extend further than the simple and true narrow path of Christ alone, the hope of sinners.
What a compelling passage, because how often can we perceive the faults and mistakes and shortcomings in others that we wish weren’t there — and how often do we want to “fix it ourselves” by telling them what they ought to do differently, instead of speaking with the one and only God who is able to actually change them?
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.
1 John 5:16 ESV
You are able to see someone’s shortcomings? The Word of God doesn’t say, “Go fix them” but in 1 John 5, it instead says to pray for them and God will give them life, that He will renew them, that He will bring the change.
Far too many want to “fix people”, want to “change the world”, want to be seen as effective and honor worthy “great men and women of God” under their own power — and when operating in that prideful height of looking down upon the “poor, pitiful sinners” around them, they are not only powerless in their effective wielding of truth — they are uncovered and unprotected and are quite ready for correction by their merciful, yet holy and righteous God.
Clearly, based on these passages, we should be mindfully aware of such things when we seek to minister to and counsel others. And when we are tempted to think of someone as “a swine not worthy of our pearls” or even as “someone we need to fix”, those thoughts and that attitude should IMMEDIATELY bring us back to remembering how wretched we are atheist from Christ — that the is NOTHING GOOD IN US APART FROM CHRIST, that we do not deserve and have not earned in any way by our own works any righteousness that is imparted to us currently in this proces of sanctification, but that it is a gift of God. If we recognize a shortcoming in another, it should remind us of our own — and if that particular log has been cut out, we ought to fall on our faces, humbly praising God for the work He is doing in us, and pray that He would DO IT AGAIN in them — or if their speck reveals our own log, we should seek repentance and while surrender to Him fresh and new.
Hallelujah. Lord, do your mighty work in us and through us, for your glory and honor. Amen.