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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.” (Mat. 7:6)

That’s a proverb, a generally short, memorable saying that is intended to provide wise guidance for living.  They usually give a direct course of action to follow; simple things to do or not do in the course of life.

Many years ago Libbie and I got a little beagle puppy.  We kept him at first on the back porch.  One day I heard him yelp sharply.  When I went to check on him I found that he had already chewed up one of my old shoes and then had started in on an extension cord, which was plugged in!

The cord was ruined, and the shoe too, but there was no reason to be angry at the dog.  Puppies chew on things.  That’s what they do.  If I had left out my best dress shoes on the porch he would have chewed them up with equal zeal!  The wisdom of Jesus was meant for ME not the dog!  Its MY responsibility to not give important, expensive, valued, sacred things to dogs and pigs.

That’s the first lesson, the obvious one, but Jesus also expected us to understand a deeper meaning after seeing the obvious one.  People are the dogs and pigs.

A man won an extremely expensive sports car in a merchant giveaway.  He wrecked it and destroyed it on the way home by driving insanely.  Oink.

After Jesus began his ministry, he did not spend a lot of time in Nazareth.  They were offended by him and Jesus chose not to give them the benefit of his great powers of healing and miracles (Mat. 13:57-58). Oink.

Many a foolish girl has given her youth and virginity to a young man who acted like a pig and treated her like a dog. Oink.

How many gifts and opportunities has God poured into our lives that we completely abused, wasted or ignored?  And if so, why would he give us more?  Food for thought - How many pearls have we missed out on that God would like to have given to us?  Oink.

Pigs will never appreciate pearls.  Dogs will never learn what is special and precious.  But people CAN learn, change, grow, appreciate and do better!  May God help us to open our eyes and hearts to grow beyond swinery. - Tim Orbison


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