PASSAGE: "Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you" (Mt. 7:6).
COMMENT: This sounds uncharacteristic of the compassionate and loving Jesus.
RESPONSE: I think to understand this comment from the Sermon on the Mount we need to be clear on the difference between judgment and discernment. If we read it from a perspective of human judgment, then it does indeed seem to be very unloving toward dogs and swine – or to the people that Jesus is implicitly describing as dogs and swine. But Jesus cautions us again and again to “judge not,” so negative judgments could surely not be his intention.
Discernment is a very different thing. It is, in fact, on of the Twelve Powers that Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore defined as the essence of the Christ – the Presence of God within each of us. Discernment doesn't judge dogs or swine as unworthy of holiness or pearls. Discernment recognizes – without judgment – that "what is holy" would have no meaning for a dog; he wouldn't know what to do with it. Likewise, swine would be unable to appreciate the beauty or value of pearls. To cast pearls in their direction would simply be a waste of pearls.
And there, I think, we have the key teaching here. Don't waste your pearls. Don't waste your spiritual energy trying to impress, or change, people who are not ready to receive it. Don't judge them as bad. Just recognize that their consciousness is not your consciousness. They might appreciate a bone, or a corncob, as an expression of divine love and infinite abundance. They may someday be able to appreciate pearls. But for now, do them the courtesy of relating to them on a level of consciousness that they can grasp.
What has come out of this passage for me is a realization that if I release old attitudes of “right” and “wrong,” and replace them with new perceptions of "efficient" and “inefficient,” I can express my spiritual energy much more effectively. There is absolutely nothing wrong with swine – they are a part of Creation, after all – but to try to get them to appreciate pearls is not an efficient use of my time and energy.