That Which Is Holy

You know the kind, quick to speak their mind, and to shut down all who see things differently. How should we respond? Or should we?

Teijo, Finland

Speaking up at the wrong time or in the wrong way can get us into trouble. Yeshua warns us to be careful when conversing with the world: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Mt 7:6) Looking at His life helps us get what He’s saying.

Jesus Christ offered truth only to seekers, actually hiding it from the rest. (Mt 13:10-11,15) He delighted in God revealing His ways only to the poor in spirit (Lk 10:21), exposing emptiness through penetrating questions rather than persuasion.

God exhorts us to “be swift to hear, slow to speak.” (Ja 1:19) Truth is constantly bubbling over all around us (Ro 1:19-20), offering life and nourishment to anyone who’s sincerely interested. We must not strive to make our point, but offer truth in meekness (2Ti 2:24-6); listen well and prayerfully weigh any verbal response. Unless we’re engaged with a humble truth-seeker, it’s likely better to pray than to reason.

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2 thoughts on “That Which Is Holy”

  1. I just finished what appears to have been a totally fruitless dialogue with one that may, for all I know, actually be mentally ill. How many hours I spent praying and word-smithing what I thought would be helpful, constructive criticism and intelligent challenges to what is, in my estimation, absurd and harmful doctrine and behavior, was in every respect laughed off, thoughtlessly dismissed, and/or ignored entirely.

    Even though, from the outset of this entanglement, there were plain indications that this soul was either incapable of rational thought, or entirely disinterested in it, somehow I thought I could penetrate the apparent idiocy with clarity, and bring light to a darkened soul. The fact that I am dismayed at my failure to do so is in itself a vexation; I should know better by now.

    I cannot think of a single example in my entire life where I appear to have made the slightest dent in another’s thinking if they were not already disposed to listen and learn, were obviously fair and open minded, asking good questions, and receptive to truth. How many countless hours I’ve wasted cannot be measured. Could the time have been spent more profitably? I expect so. Certainly.

    I have learned much from these otherwise fruitless interactions, considering opposing arguments and working through them, and had this been my only objective, then I suppose that I would not be frustrated. This is, indeed, a worthy objective, but one that likely may be pursued much more efficiently. I regret not spending the time with those who were more earnest and thoughtful, so that the benefit could have been multiplied.

    Further, in engaging with those who appear unhealthy and foolish, choosing to engage them merely because they were available and willing to engage, I suppose I have also picked up a bit of their unhealthiness, being influenced for the worse by those I have bantered with, men of corrupt minds, of unholy dispositions. This is certainly not a good thing, feeling like I need a bath after engaging with one who appears to be a prating fool. Whether I rage or laugh, there is no rest.

    I think I need to pray more, listen more, get better at asking thought-provoking questions, and refrain from engaging in debates with those who don’t appear to be receptive to the truth or to be intelligent enough to understand the basic principles of reason. I need to choose where to invest time more carefully, prayerfully and thoughtfully, redeeming the time.

  2. “He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.” (Pr 9:7) This is related to casting peals before swine, and giving that which is holy to the dogs.

    A reproof is a gift intended to give a thoughtful soul cause for reflection and self-correction; it should not be offered to the scornful, who mock as if they’ve no need for grace, taking credit for their own abilities and knowledge.

    A rebuke is similar, pointing out someone’s fault, not as retribution or punishment, but to help them find their way. Offering this to one who is bent on forsaking the right way is harmful to our souls.

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