As followers of Christ, we are called to share the good news of the Gospel and be a light in the darkness of the world. However, Jesus also warned us about casting our pearls before swine. In this context, pearls represent the wisdom and truth of God’s word, while swine are those who have no appreciation or respect for these divine gifts. In Matthew 7:6 (NKJV), Jesus says, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”
In this blog post, we will explore five examples of casting pearls before swine, and how we can avoid these pitfalls in our lives. Our purpose is to better understand the importance of discernment when sharing our faith, while also being aware of situations where our efforts may not bear fruit or even lead to harm. By examining these examples, we hope to provide guidance on how to effectively share the Gospel while remaining sensitive to the needs and receptiveness of those around us.
- Understand the importance of discernment when sharing our faith.
- Learn from examples of casting pearls before swine.
- Recognize situations where our efforts may not be fruitful or even harmful.
- Be sensitive to the needs and receptiveness of those around us.
- Balance our desire to share the Gospel with wisdom and caution.
Example 1: Preaching to Those Who Reject the Gospel
One clear example of casting pearls before swine is when we continue to preach the Gospel to those who have repeatedly rejected it. While it’s essential to share the message of salvation, we must also respect the free will of others and their right to accept or reject the truth.
In Acts 13:45-46 (NKJV), Paul and Barnabas encountered opposition from the Jews in Antioch: “But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, ‘It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.'”
Paul and Barnabas demonstrated wisdom in recognizing when it was time to stop sharing the Gospel with those who rejected it and to focus on more receptive audiences.
Example 2: Engaging in Fruitless Debates
Another example of casting pearls before swine is engaging in fruitless debates with people who are hostile to the Christian faith. While it’s crucial to defend our beliefs, it’s also important to recognize when a debate is no longer productive.
In 2 Timothy 2:23-24 (NKJV), Paul advises Timothy, “But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.” This guidance reminds us to prioritize patience and gentleness over contentious debates that are unlikely to bear fruit.
Example 3: Sharing Deep Spiritual Truths with Unbelievers
While it’s important to share the Gospel with unbelievers, there may be instances where sharing deep spiritual truths can lead to confusion or misunderstanding. We must exercise discernment in determining the appropriate level of spiritual teaching for each person.
In 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 (NKJV), Paul explains, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able.” In this passage, Paul acknowledges the need to share spiritual truths gradually, allowing individuals to grow in their understanding of the faith.
Example 4: Publicly Confronting Unrepentant Sinners
Although it is essential to address sin and encourage repentance, it is also crucial to approach this delicate issue with wisdom and sensitivity. Publicly confronting unrepentant sinners can be an example of casting pearls before swine, as it may provoke defensiveness and hostility, rather than genuine repentance.
Matthew 18:15-17 (NKJV) offers guidance on how to approach a brother or sister who has sinned: “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”
This approach emphasizes the importance of private confrontation and a gradual escalation, providing multiple opportunities for repentance and restoration.
Example 5: Sharing the Gospel in Hostile Environments
Finally, another example of casting pearls before swine is sharing the Gospel in hostile environments where there is a significant risk of physical harm or persecution. While we are called to be bold and courageous in our faith, we must also use wisdom to determine when it is appropriate to share our faith openly.
In Matthew 10:16 (NKJV), Jesus warns his disciples, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” This instruction reminds us to balance our desire to share the Gospel with wisdom and caution, especially in situations where our safety may be at risk.
In conclusion, it is essential for believers to share the Gospel and be a light in the darkness of the world. However, we must also exercise discernment and wisdom in recognizing situations where casting our pearls before swine may not be fruitful or even harmful. By learning from these five examples, we can strive to effectively share the Gospel while remaining sensitive to the needs and receptiveness of those around us.
As we grow in our faith and our understanding of God’s word, let us also grow in our ability to discern when and how to share the pearls of divine wisdom. By doing so, we can better serve the Lord and help guide others on their journey toward salvation.
May we continue to shine the light of Christ in a dark world, always seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit to know when to share and when to hold back. In all things, let us rely on God’s wisdom and love to guide our actions and interactions with others.
When you cast pearls before swine, you are offering something valuable to someone who cannot appreciate it. It is an idiom that means an act of giving a great gift and expecting nothing in return. This metaphor has its roots in the Bible, where Jesus gives an admonishment in the Gospel of Matthew: “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.” Despite this warning, many people make the mistake of casting pearls before swine in various ways. Here are five common examples.
1. Giving Money to a Bad Cause: Some people may be tempted to donate to a cause that has little chance of success, a charity with questionable intentions, or a political effort that would be wasted on the wrong crowd. While donating to a good cause is admirable, casting pearls before swine is not wise because the donation will only be used to perpetuate the causes’ misguided campaign.
2. Making Promises Without Reasonable Expectations: It is often tempting to make grand proclamations and large promises to friends or family, only to discover the promise was based on false expectations and had no chance of being kept. These types of empty commitments should be avoided as they are a form of casting pearls before swine.
3. Honoring Someone Who does Not Deserve It: There are many occasions when someone may offer a gift, honor, or recognition to someone who does not deserve it, such as a politician who has been largely ineffective in office or an employee who consistently lets down his or her colleagues. This type of action is a form of casting pearls before swine.
4. Offering Advice to Someone With Poor Judgment: It is natural to want to help someone when they are making bad decisions, however offering unsolicited advice in this situation is akin to casting pearls before swine. People with poor judgment will often ignore wisdom and continue in their ill-advised path, regardless of the advice being given.
5. Bestowing Emotional Traits on Someone Unworthy: In relationships, it is often tempting to invest heavily in a person who will never be able to give back. This is an example of casting pearls before swine, as it is clear the relationship is one-sided and any emotional investment will ultimately be for naught.
Every day we must guard against casting pearls before swine. Although it can be tempting to invest in a situation that doesn’t deserve it, it is often a foolish endeavor. Consider each situation locally, and make sure the gift, advice, or relationship being offered is worth the investment.