“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7:6)

This verse came to mind recently as I listened to a radio talk show. The host of the program had boldly indicated his belief in God. People were calling in, arguing this point back and forth.

One phone call in particular captured my interest. The caller boldly identified himself as a committed atheist. He heaped scorn and ridicule upon the talk-show host because of his faith in God.

The talk show-host responded by indicating that it was difficult for him to understand how people could not believe in God. He kept hammering the atheist caller, asking him over and over again: “If there is no God, where did our universe come from?”

The atheist wouldn’t answer the talk-show host’s question. Instead, he kept saying “I don’t care how the universe came into being. I don’t care! I don’t care! I don’t care!” In other words, the atheist caller had his mind made up and he wasn’t interested in a genuine dialogue.

What do you do when you find yourself talking about spiritual issues with someone who already has their mind made up? How do you share your faith with someone who possesses a hard heart toward the things of God and simply isn’t open to any sort of change in this area of his or her life? Do you keep hammering away? Do you give up? Or is there something else you can do?

I suspect that many of us may be facing this kind of situation right now. Perhaps you have parents who aren’t believers and don’t seem to be very open to your attempts to share your faith with them. Perhaps you have kids who’ve wandered away from the faith and now seem hard hearted toward it. Perhaps you have co-workers whose foreheads are like flint; all your best apologetic arguments just seem to bounce off in various directions. Perhaps you have some very good friends that you’d love to see come to Christ, but you’re beginning to wonder if they’ll ever do so. Perhaps you’re married to someone who doesn’t share your faith in Christ and has made it crystal clear that he or she is not interested in doing so.

I have some good news for us all today: There’s something we can do when we find ourselves dealing with people with hearts that are hard toward the things of God.


Allow me to explain.

In his Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) Jesus is discipling his followers: teaching them how to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world; teaching them how to become the kind of people who can help other human beings connect with God.

In Matthew 7: 1-2 Jesus warns his followers not to become judgmental, holier-than-thou folks who look down their noses at people and write them off as being unreachable:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. {2} For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:1-2)

Then, in Matthew 7:3-5, Jesus encourages his followers not to become “fixers,” people who rush into other people’s lives and try to fix them without first taking care of their own issues:

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? {4} How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? {5} You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)

In other words, when it comes to effectively sharing one’s faith, the manner in which we do so matters!

With this thought in mind, Jesus seems to go on in verse 6 to indicate that there are some folks who simply aren’t going to give the gospel a fair hearing no matter how careful we are about how we share it with them. When this is the case, Jesus seems to be saying, it’s useless to keep hammering away at them.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7:6)

Now let’s be clear about the fact that Jesus isn’t suggesting here that people who don’t believe in the gospel are “pigs” and “dogs.” He’s simply using these animals to illustrate the fact that it doesn’t do any good to try to give something valuable, like the gospel, to people who don’t appreciate what it is you’re trying to do.

Well then, what do we do when we find ourselves in this situation? Do we just give up: wash our hands of these folks, assuming that they will never be able to get it, that they will never be able to understand and appreciate the message of God’s love in Jesus Christ?


Take a look at the very next couple of verses:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. {8} For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)

These two famous verses were intended by Jesus to underscore the value and power of prayer.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Right after he encourages his disciples not to keep relentllessly sharing the gospel message with folks with obviously hardened hearts—Jesus begins to talk about the value and importance of prayer.

The implication seems to be this: There is something we can do when we find ourselves dealing with people who don’t seem to be able or willing to even consider the possibility that the gospel about Jesus Christ might just be true.


Support for this idea is provided, I believe, by a passage penned by the apostle Paul—a passage that suggests that a person’s hardened heart (or blinded mind) might actually be caused by a will other than his or her own.

In 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 Paul writes:

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. {4} The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

According to this interesting passage, it’s possible that the reason why some people don’t get the gospel is because they are spiritually blind—the evil one having put a veil over their spiritual eyes so that they are unable to recognize who and what Jesus Christ really is.

Of course, we also read in the Bible that God is not willing that anyone should perish, but that everyone would respond in faith and come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

The implication is that:

Sometimes the only way we are going to be able to effectively share the gospel with some hard-hearted folks is by engaging in a thing called spiritual warfare! In other words, before some people will ever be able to recognize the truth of the gospel, we will need to pray, asking God to remove the veil that the devil’s placed over their spiritual eyes.

Does this thought scare you or give you hope? I hope it’s the latter.

The bottom line of this blog posting is this: There’s something we can do to help heretofore hard-hearted people to come to faith in Jesus Christ. Instead of continuing to keep hammering away, or giving up …


Hey, it’s at least worth a try, isn’t it?

Something to think about.