Pearls in the Pigpen

Matthew 7:1-6 Amplified Version (AMP)

 

Today’s passage deals with an important aspect of our relationships with other people. It talks about what to do—or better yet what NOT to do—when you see someone who has made a mistake or is living with a fault or an issue.

 

1 Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves.

For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.

 

These first two verses talk about the law of the harvest. Not per se. But here Jesus says if you have a critical spirit and are in the habit of criticizing other people, you will reap what you sow. And you will reap in the same way and in the same ‘measure’ that you sow.

 

He doesn’t spell out who will be returning your criticism back to you, but He says it will be returned.

 

So what we’re NOT supposed to do when we see someone who’s made a mistake is to criticize them for making the mistake . . . or for having the fault . . . or for dealing with their particular issue.

 

The next two verses give us a good reason why we should keep our mouth shut.

 

Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye?

Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye?

 

In these verses, Jesus reminds us that we have no room to talk about anyone else’s problems. We’re not perfect either. I know. At least we don’t have THEIR problem. Yeah. I think that’s what Jesus is talking about in verses 1-2.

 

It’s so easy to see everyone else’s faults and mistakes and issues. And sometimes it’s very difficult to see our own. And when we do admit we have a problem, it comes very natural to minimize our problem.

 

But apparently it’s not as minimal as we like to think.

 

I love Jesus’s word pictures. Here He paints the scene where one person with a log sticking out of his eye is pointing out a speck in his brother’s eye and volunteering to remove it.

 

That’s laughable.

 

Which is apparently how Jesus feels about us continuously focusing on the faults in everyone else and excusing the things that aren’t right in our own life.

 

But He doesn’t say we’re to ignore our brother’s faults. Check out the next verse.

 

You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.

 

I believe He’s talking about fellow believers here. Not earth’s general population.

 

And I believe Jesus is saying there is a time to help your brother or sister recognize the speck in their eye and help them remove it. But I think He’s saying this should take place after spending time in His presence asking Him to show you anything in your life you need to repent of—and dealing with it—BEFORE you go in humility and ask if you can help your brother or sister.

 

This is something that needs to be done after LOTS of prayer and repentance and in deep love and humility.

 

And when God is leading you to do it.

 

And that’s where I think the next verse comes in.

 

Do not give that which is holy (the sacred thing) to the dogs, and do not throw your pearls before hogs, lest they trample upon them with their feet and turn and tear you in pieces.

 

I often wondered why this verse was placed here. I understood its meaning. I just didn’t get how it connected to this passage until I studied it this time.

 

And this is just my opinion.

 

I believe Jesus is saying that helping someone with the speck in their eye is only for fellow believers. And even then, I believe it’s for believers who are actively seeking Him and His best for their life.

 

Those people will be open to help. They will appreciate all the prayer and repentance and humility required in preparing to help them see the speck in their eye and then helping them remove it.

 

Sharing all of that with unbelievers and holier-than-thou believers is just like giving something precious to a wild dog or throwing your expensive pearls into the pigpen for the hogs to play dress-up with.

 

Neither will appreciate it. In fact, they’ll probably do what comes natural to them—turn on you and tear you to shreds.

 

That would not be any fun.

 

And you probably wouldn’t get your pearls back.

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