“Pearls before Swine”
Forgive us, O Lord, for our sometimes judgmental attitude that causes us to be overly critical of others and for our sometimes hypocrisy that causes us to hold others to a higher standard than that to which we hold ourselves.
Help us, O Lord, to be so filled with integrity and perspective that we can see our own faults clearly and deal with them appropriately; help us to be so filled with grace and love that when we see a fault in a sister or brother our response is one of compassion and sacrifice with nothing but their good in our hearts.
But there are people—and guard us from concluding this too quickly or too reflexively about any individual or about any group—who are evil, cruel, abusive, or manipulative and we need the discernment to recognize them and not to pretend that they are other than they are. Give us, O Lord, such discernment.
If we have to reach such a conclusion about someone, though, O Lord, remind and motivate us to pray for them; help us to love them—even if such love has to be given from a great distance.
“Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.” (Matthew 7:6)