discerning a fool

Do not give what is holy to dogs—they will only turn and attack you. Do not throw your pearls in front of pigs—they will only trample them underfoot. [Matthew 7:6 GNT]

Apart from the context of the previous verses, this is a difficult verse to understand.
Jesus has been teaching us not to judge other people.
In this verse he is speaking to us of our need to exercise discernment.

Consider these verses from Proverbs:
  • As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
  • Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.
  • Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
These verses speak to me about how we must be wise in what we say and who we say it to.
Sharing our hearts with foolish people will often break our hearts.
Knowing when and what to share requires spiritual discernment.

That said, discernment is not a cop out for timidity.
When the Holy Spirit prompts us to speak we should follow his lead.
When we are presented with an opportunity to share we must embrace the moment.

In times like these we should resist the urge to wax theological and speak from our heads.
People need to hear from our hearts in transparent and vulnerable ways.
Not all are fools. Many need Jesus. He is the priceless pearl that many are seeking.

Lord help me to be discerning. Help me to be bold in sharing my heart with others.

... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.


  1. And please, when considering applying this verse and Psalm 14:1, remember Matthew 5:22. I know I don't have to tell you that, Bob, but for anybody wandering by and reading.

  2. Good point Mike. It is one thing to recognize that a person is acting foolishly and not engage in their foolishness. It is yet another thing to call them a fool in anger.

  3. Discerning and bold... what a good combination.. Lord help me too.


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