Thursday, January 28, 2010

Appreciating Valuable Things

The story is told of a man who was sued by a woman for defamation of character. She charged that he had called her a pig. The man was found guilty and fined.

After the trial he asked the judge, "Does this mean that I cannot call Mrs. Johnson a pig?" The judge said that was true.

"Does this mean I cannot call a pig Mrs. Johnson?" the man asked. The judge replied that he could indeed call a pig Mrs. Johnson with no fear of legal action.

The man looked directly at Mrs. Johnson and said, "Good afternoon, Mrs. Johnson."

Such name-calling is obviously wrong, but Jesus told us there are some people who are "pigs" (and not in the sense of eating too much). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." (Matthew 7:6)

There are some people who are "dogs" and "pigs" in the sense that they have no appreciation for things of a spiritual nature. Just as a pig has no appreciation for precious jewelry, so it is that some people have no appreciation for the precious truths of God's Word.

John MacArthur has written, "There will be times when the gospel we present is absolutely rejected and ridiculed and we will make the judgment to turn away and speak no more, deciding that we should 'shake off the dust of [our] feet' (Matt. 10:14) and begin ministering somewhere else." (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Matthew 1-7)

I agree. There are times when those I speak to show such a lack of appreciation for God's Word. My greater concern, though, is making sure that I don't have that same attitude.

"Father, I pray that my heart may always be tender and open to the valuable lessons you want to teach me. May I never 'trample underfoot' those things which are truly important. In Jesus' name, amen."

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