“Judge not. ” This subject is so very close to my heart. Though I know the principles as you outlined I still wonder WHEN we should NOT throw pearls to the pigs. When we see our country leaders introduce non-Christian “principles, ” must I protest? Or must I only evaluate the people I come in direct contact with and then act accordingly to my “level” of understanding of God's Word? I ask the Lord often for greater spiritual discernment.
Jesus’ illustration about not casting our pearls before the pigs or swine does not prevent us from taking action to counteract sin by working in our community, city, or state, for example. The pearl in Jesus’ illustration is the Word of God. He is primarily talking about folks who actively, aggressively trample the Word of God.
Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. (NASB) Matthew 7:6
We have been asked by God to tell others about our Savior, Jesus Christ. There are a number of ways people respond to the Word of Truth. The majority of people simply reject the message in a nice manner. They have selected the wide comfortable way (Matt. 7:13-14). A smaller number react like the people in Acts 13:45.
Now when the meeting of the synagogue had broken up, many of the Jews and of the God-fearing proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, were urging them to continue in the grace of God. And the next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy, and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming. (NASB) Acts 13:43-45
These folks not only heard the Word of God and rejected it, they became warriors against the message of salvation. They started arguing, contradicting and blaspheming. This is a great illustration of Matt. 7:6. The third group of people are those few who accept Jesus Christ.
I believe there is also a secondary meaning to Matthew 7:6 that includes our righteous acts. An example of this is found in 2 John 10-11,
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. (NASB) 2 John 10-11
In Matthew 7:1-6, Jesus tells us to not be judgmental. The scriptures are clear that there are times we must evaluate people. When we do, our information should be first hand information. What we see and hear from the media, radio and newspapers, sometimes even our friends cannot always be trusted. What we hear from first hand interviews is much more reliable. Multiple “eye witnesses” of the truth gives us more reason to trust what we hear (see John 7:24, 51). There is nothing wrong it attempting to improve our society. When society becomes hostile, Jesus tells us to stop. Jesus called us to change our society by changing them from within. Once the Holy Spirit changes their heart, the outside change will occur.