Journal Matt 7 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matt 7:6-7
Observation: Is this a call for the prudent, the wise, the discerning and how to deal with the public?
Analysis: Anybody else have issues with this verse? I do. How do I put this verse into action and stay true to the preaching of the Gospel?
In my past I have presented certain aspects of the Gospel and gotten into knockdown, drag out arguments—devoid of love and mercy—just wanting to be right. And then I retreat and fight with the resulting condemnation of being a coward in the battle for the Kingdom.
Or I fight with the internal condemnation of thinking my “opponents” are dogs and pigs and I am somehow exalted over them—a better breed of dog and pig, I guess.
What I am pretty sure Jesus is saying is to “practice discernment”; not everyone has “ears to hear or eyes to see.”
I wonder though, what am I to do with this? I know I have bypassed folks who I immediately thought, “Not this person—I sense no return for my effort.” And immediately thought: “Am I God; am I prejudging based on what? External appearances or anything else?”
And yet…the Scripture is, must be true. There must be a point to apply verse 6. Even Proverbs indicates a similar thought: “Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.” (Prov 14:7)
But, how do I know, really know to abandon a conversation or to stick with it and plow ahead? The very next verse of Asking, Seeking, Knocking is the results driven answer—and I notice that it isn’t Time defined. Is this because the Holy Spirit is refining me throughout? I have to think and consider that.
Prayer: Father, I don’t know about this verse. I am not inclined to be like a bull in a china shop with my testimony, nor assume the mantle of a car salesman about the Gospel. The one time I am most proud of is when the Jehovah Witnesses came to the door and, in conversation, I recited the Gospel from Eden to the Cross and asked them to repent from the false gospel they were presenting.
I know I have conviction about not throwing newbies to the Way out to witness immediately, like sending cannon fodder to “charge the hill.” I have less understanding of “what do you do then?”
Refine me, O Lord. Have me walk in your ways always. Help me not to walk in my own understanding alone but draw near to you every day.
Why did I dream about recommending Tozer to a group last night?