Casting Our Pearls

Jesus told us not to cast our pearls before swine or they would only turn and trample us.  I have often wondered what that could possibly mean.  In younger days, I would spend a great deal of time involved in trying to answer the questions of unbelievers.  A few people were helped by my answers, but most were hostile to my answers, and I found that puzzling.  Now I think I understand the statement about pearls. 

When I throw something precious to people who don’t want what I offer, I get a hostile response.  Just as a pig isn’t interested in pearls when its looking for food, a person hostile to Jesus doesn’t really want a reasonable answer to a question, they want me to be unable to answer, which in their mind justifies their unbelief.  If I spend time on such a person, I’m wasting time better spent on a sincere questioner.  If I spend energy on such a person, their hostility is an energy sapper, doubly leaching me of energy better spend on someone who is a sincere seeker.

A Christian writer once said we should concentrate our efforts at those nearest the “narrow gate” Jesus talked about.  These people have followed God’s guiding all the way to the way into the entrance, and they just want someone to help them with the gate.  Ministry among such willing seekers would be very successful and satisfying, and probably a source of further energy for more ministry.  However, I think its not necessary to stay only with those nearest the gate.  Someone could be still very far off, yet sincerely seeking help to find their way to Jesus.  I think its important to discern which way they are facing.  Are they facing Jesus and the gate into the kingdom, or are they turned away?  Those facing the right direction, even if still afar, are moving toward Jesus and can benefit from our help.  Those facing away from Jesus have turned away because of heart issues that have nothing to do with being shown or taught anything.  Its prayer they need, for only God can soften a hardened heart toward him.  That is beyond our capability.

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