Monday, December 8, 2014

Matthew 7:5-7 -- On Not Trampling the Gospel

"Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
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.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:"
Matthew 7:5-7

I was wondering today what exactly it is that we aren't supposed to give to "the dogs," since it can't really be the gospel.  That's for everyone.  And in the footnote I found a link to the Joseph Smith translation, which made me think of it differently.  I think it's good to remember that *we* can be the dogs, and the swine, whenever we treat holy things lightly, or dismiss them as unimportant.  That's kind of why I put these verse together as a selection.  I think that the ideas carry across the scriptural paragraphs.  We shouldn't be worrying about other people's problems.  We have enough of our own... and until we are perfect... or at least a lot better than we are... maybe it is best not to nitpick other people's spirituality.  I think that casting pearls before swine is when we stop doing this... for others or for ourselves.  We misjudge our audience, and expect them to be more perfect than they are.  We might jump into complex doctrines or start trying to figure out just how big our mansions in heaven will be, when we haven't even mastered some of the basics, like prayer or repentance.  When we do that, it is like we are trying to jump ourselves or others from 3rd grade up to graduate studies... and instead of trying to do that, we should focus first on the basic step and master that firm foundation, so that when we build on it, it will stay steady.  That's why several times in the scriptures we are told to preach nothing but repentance.  ... Because that is the beginning.  That's getting the beam out of our own eyes.  That's what we have to do for ourselves before we graduate from being dogs or swine, and are ready for the pearls of holiness. :)  And when we are ready, all we have to do is ask, seek, and knock.  God will be waiting... waiting for us to be ready, because he is anxious to teach us.  We just have to get ourselves to a point where we can open our hearts and our minds and take serious things seriously.  And repentance is the first step.  Today, let's work on those beams.  Let's repent, and pray, and read... let's master the basics of the Gospel, so that in God's time, we will be ready for more, and we won't trample it.

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