Scripture ~ Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn again and rend you.
Observation ~ Gill's commentary has an interesting note on casting pearls before swine.
"But since the subject Christ is upon is reproof, it seems rather to be the design of these expressions, that men should be cautious and prudent, in rebuking and admonishing such persons for their sins, in whom there is no appearance or hope of success; yea, where there is danger of sustaining loss; lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you: that is, despise the admonitions and reproofs given, and hurt the persons who give them, either by words or deeds;"
For whatever reason, the word 'rend' stuck out, so I ran it through the original Greek. It translates to 'lacerate', to tear roughly; mangle, to distress or torture mentally or emotionally; wound deeply; pain greatly, etc. How many times have we poured into someone only to be lacerated mentally or emotionally? WOW!
When talking about giving that which is holy to the dogs, it seems like casting the things of God to staunch unbelievers. (Dogs were considered 'unclean', and were fed the things that the Jews considered unclean.) But the pearls before swine seems more like investments in fellow believers, "in whom there is no appearance or hope of success; yea, where there is danger of sustaining loss."
Application ~ There is a balance between using our gifts for the good of the kingdom and continuing to do that work in spite of lack of fruit. It's ok to find that balance and say, "It stops here." On the flip side of that, however, is the need to not be swine myself, to bear the fruit of hope and thus allow any investments of "rebuking and admonishing" that others make in me to be profitable for their time and efforts.
Prayer ~ Father, show me where to invest, that it may be wisely made and profitable for your kingdom. And on the other side of that, grow me to be a safe investment for others to make, that their rebuke and admonishment not fall on an unteachable heart.
Scripture ~ Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.
Observation ~ This verse simply sums up this section of scripture and tells us clearly how to know where to put our investments.
Again turning to Gill, "The sum of the whole is, that ordinarily, and generally speaking, as men are, so are the doctrines they preach, and by them they may be known, and judged to be what they are."
Application ~ We all preach doctrine with everything we say and do. Was a little information shared that didn't need to be shared? We're preaching our doctrine of gossip. Are we letting our children get away with half-obedience? We're preaching our doctrine of obedience. Is that shirt a little too tight? We're preaching our doctrine of modesty. Is our home a disorganized mess? We're preaching our doctrine of keeping the home. Are we buying things for which we can't pay cash or otherwise can't afford? We're preaching our doctrine of stewardship.
Prayer ~ Father, thank you for giving us this guideline to show where to invest and where to pass. Convict me of my bad doctrine that the fruit I am known by is that which is glorifying to You.
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