Matthew 7:1-2, 6 – “Do not judge, so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you…6 Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.’”
In yesterday’s devotional we established that Jesus does not call His disciples to stop making judgments, as V. 6 renders here. Rather, Jesus is concerned with the heart’s intentions behind our assessments which will show itself in how we approach the situations before us. Are we giving others the benefit of the doubt that we want them to give to us? Are we quick to draw conclusions before talking to ALL the people involved? Are we murdering people’s reputations to others with a ‘juicy morsel?’ It is the glory of man to cover another’s sin, just as Jesus Christ paid to cover our sin. Of course, there are always exceptions, when to do so would put others in harm’s way (Romans 13:1-4).
Upon coming to Jesus Christ to deal with our sin and participate in His life by the Holy Spirit, we are compelled by His love to want to share who He is with others. We want to help others the way that Christ is helping us. Jesus reminds us here to be careful to discern whether someone is ready to receive the sacred and precious things of God (V. 6). He is using a proverb to remind His followers that it’s obnoxious and unbecoming to try to force things on people who are not ready for them or simply do not want them. This once again causes us to check our hearts. Do we trust God to minister to those around us enough to not feel we have to force it when we sense they are not ready? Are we sharing simply out of duty to feel better about ourselves, not really making it about the other person at all? True concern for others and for God’s reputation will result in careful discernment of how receptive the people around us are to the good news we carry. To exasperate people by doing something like grabbing a bull horn and yelling at them is to have them ultimately turn on us and tear us up.
Heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for checking our hearts and reminding us how careful we need to be in our approach to people. Help us to be honest judges of our own heart’s desires and intentions before we attempt to try to get involved and help. Holy Spirit, guide us to be people quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger, and full of love. Amen.