I’ve always struggled somewhat with understanding the meaning of Christ’s warning not not cast one’s pearl’s before swine. Clearly there are sacred things that He meant for His followers to not share too freely, and I often assumed this referred to details of Temple worship and other particularly sacred or sensitive topics, without feeling terribly clear on this topic. But a recent exchange with a good friend added a possible new dimension to this area.
We recently had a very successful Stake musical that involved much sacrifice from many people, and brought reports of many tender spiritual experiences. On the night we attended, there was a big snow storm, and some cast members traveling from over an hour away faced genuine risk, but were able too get to the performance safely and return safely. That same night, three wonderful young people from my town (not LDS) were killed on the same highway that many cast members had to use. A casual remark from one person about how cast members were blessed and protected stirred some painful questions in one faithful LDS friend who asked how we can talk about divine intervention to get people safely to a play when three precious young people died in the same storm – does it mean that God cared less about them?
We discussed this from several angles with many of “the usual” lines of analysis about God’s love and mercy, his timing for our lives, the need to be grateful for whatever blessing we receive and not to make unwarranted assumptions about those who are on a different timetable in God’s eyes, etc., but finally concluded that sometimes we – myself especially included – are too quick to share events and experiences that may show God’s intervention or blessings. Sometimes by casting our pearls of spiritual experiences about freely, we may actually be acting like swine ourselves and splash spiritual mud on others who may be troubled by the implications of our experience.
I remember on this blog when I shared what I thought was a touching case of divine intervention to help my family in a trying moment, there were some sarcastic comments from some upset people who couldn’t believe that God would help me with my little problems while over a hundred people in South America died in a terrible fire that week – were they less important? That negative response shows that sharing spiritual experiences can really perturb others, which is not our intent.
I am not advocating silence, but am wondering about finding the right balance. On a public blog like this, how can one share spiritual experiences without “casting pearls before swine” – no offense intended to those who are on different wavelengths – perhaps I should say “without acting like swine.”