Discernment

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” –Matthew 7:6

This verse reminds me of Jesus’ words regarding the hypocritical Pharisee’s reaction to His teaching:

The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.
-Proverbs 12:15

Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:12-14)

Unfortunately, not everyone is fit to be reproved. Those who walk in the way of sinners and sit in the seat of mockers (Psalm 1:1) despise instruction and will defy it.

A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool.
-Proverbs 17:10

Who can help those who hate reproof? Who can heal and help those who staunchly refuse to be healed and helped? Jesus tells us we are to be zealous for God’s truth, yet that zeal must be guided by discretion. We are not to go about giving instruction and counsel to those who are hardened and seek with pleasure to trample our words and tear us to pieces. Good counsel and reproof are sacred things and God’s ordinances are as pearls. Scripture tells us a fool avoids wisdom and understanding–always, sadly, to his own harm. The fool is his own worst enemy.

Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool in his folly.
-Proverbs 17:12

It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.
(Proverbs 20:3)

Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words. (Proverbs 23:9)

Take It to Heart

Believers are to manifest a correction of the culture rather than to be a reflection of it. We earn the right to be heard by what we do. When those around us see a life that talks like Christ, yet walks no differently than they do, there will be no kingdom impact. When our hearts are changed, our lives are to be changed.

“The good news of the gospel is not that God will provide a way to make life easier. The good news of the gospel, for this life, is that He will make our lives better. We will be empowered to draw close to God and to love others well and to do both for one central purpose, to glorify God, to make Him look good to any who watch us live.”
-Larry Crabb

If we are not changed by the power of the Spirit, choosing rather to blend with the world, what kind of pathetic impact is that? Believers are to be different from the ways of the world! Sadly, therefore, God’s Word often falls on deaf ears and is met with argumentative mindsets even on hearts that are perhaps readied or tendered to hear truth. Remember, wisdom is always proved right by what she does. If we truly believe God’s Word, our lives will reflect it.

“The good news of the gospel is not that God will provide a way to make life easier. The good news of the gospel, for this life, is that He will make our lives better. We will be empowered to draw close to God and to love others well and to do both for one central purpose, to glorify God, to make Him look good to any who watch us live.” -Larry Crabb

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