Have you ever driven by a pig farm? They are dirty smelly affairs. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for the pig farmer. Bacon is a blessing in every way, shape, or form. Even the smell of bacon cooking is a treat. But when the bacon is walking around still on the pig it is a very different story. There is a big temptation to hold your nose, or avoid the porker site altogether.
This next verse in Proverbs talks about what doesn’t belong close to a pig.
“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.” Proverbs 11:22
Pigs love mud and dirt and feast on the stuff left over on our plates. So what goes into the pig and what comes out of the pig and all the stuff he rolls around in make for a pretty odorous situation. So, to place a thing of value and beauty over the dirt and squalor negates the value of the gold.
Well, that’s what this proverb is talking about for anyone who might be beautiful on the outside, but isn’t good or kind or honest or trust-worthy on the inside. The person who can’t show discretion in their words or actions negates the beauty on the outside.
Jesus addressed this in Matthew 23:26 when He told the teachers of the law and the Pharisees that they cleaned the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they were full of greed and self-indulgence. Jesus’ instructions were to first clean the inside and then the outside would also be clean. Integrity is when the two match. We are called to live in integrity.
We don’t put a gold ring in a pig’s snout.
Lord, people see the outside; You see the inside. Please clean away all the dirt and grime on the inside and help me to live so that the two match.