Updated: Jul 25
I was recently reading Matthew chapter 7:1-6 (Jesus’s teaching on judgment) and asking God to help me discern around verse 6:
“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.”
Matthew 7:6 ESV
As I was praying the words holy and pearls jumped off the page. I sensed a personal revelation was coming. I paused and listened. A few verses came to mind in my quietness:
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
Matthew 13:45-46 ESV
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
1 Peter 2:9 NRSV
I read the verses thoroughly, discovering, we (God’s people) are referred to as “holy” and as “pearls”! My heart pumped with a “show me more Lord” expectancy.
As I reread verses 1-6 in context, I had a knowing that some of our attacks from the enemy, come because we open the door to him through our judgment of others. We throw His holy pearls to dogs and pigs with our judging thoughts and words and subject them and ourselves to the enemy.
The judgment creates division (we attempt to get away from the perceived problem, try to fix it, or control it). Before we realize it, negative energy has produced negative effects (shame, guilt, anxiety, anger, stress, loneliness, depression, physical illness).
Strong's concordance defines the word “judge” in the New Testament:
to form an expressed judgment or opinion as to any person or thing, more commonly unfavorably in an absolute sense.
I wonder if judgment and discernment can sometimes feel the same.
“Discernment is about making clear and informed distinctions between things; whether people, behavior, objects, or ideas. It is about seeing features and categories. About sorting and sifting. Framing and filtering. About separating signal from the noise”.
Discernment is then fundamentally about seeking insight and understanding from God’s heart.
It is not about criticizing, accusing, or dogmatically insisting. And, what really matters here is your inner state — how you feel. It is your inner state that people typically pick up on when they feel judged. The actual words you say tend to matter much less.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-6 ESV
Do your words and thoughts come from a place of peace, compassion, and a genuine attempt to understand God’s heart?
Do they come from an inner tension that needs clarification from the Lord?
Ask God to show you.
Focus Passage for the week:
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure, you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but does not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. “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.”
Matthew 7:1-6 ESV
Father, increase our understanding of your love and truth. Let us hunger and thirst for righteousness that we may be filled. Let us be opened to Your love…..knowing that love bears all things, hopes all things, believes all things, and endures all things. in Jesus' name amen.