Many people have heard the statement, “You reap what you sow.” Or, as my wife learned when she was making drapes for a living, “You rip what you sew.” When it comes to sowing and reaping we often fail to enjoy the blessings that God has for us because we don’t fully understand this law. Some people refer to it under different names, but some also recognize that this is the law of laws. Understanding how this works can help us create the kind of life we desire.
Galatians 6:7-10 says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
The first thing is that Paul; the writer of Galatians, does is to clearly tell us to stop being deceived. We need to avoid the mistake of believing that the circumstances and conditions we see in our lives are all external to us, that we are just victims and “god” is picking on us.
In the NIV, Proverbs 19:3 says, “A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the LORD.” And Paul is simply restating this fact. Many people ruin their lives by their own actions, their thoughts, words, and actions, and then get angry with God.
When we recognize that the circumstances and conditions of our lives are the result of our own sowing, we will finally be able to take authority over them. As long as we remain deceived, and continue to blame God instead of taking responsibility for our lives, we remain powerless to change things.
We are sowing seeds with every thought, word, and action we take. Most of the time we are completely unaware of what we are sowing, and we end up with a lot of weeds in our field (our lives) rather than good seeds. But we can change that by becoming aware of what we are thinking, saying, and doing. Once we start listening to, and observing, how we think and act we can start to take steps to change first our thoughts, then our words. When we combine that with changing what we do, we will begin to reap a better harvest.
Many people struggle with having too much month left at the end of their money. No matter how hard they work, there never seems to be enough. They think about all that they can’t afford, they constantly talk about how little they have, and the focus of their spending is on the bare necessities. In order for them to have more money they need to change the seeds they are sowing. And that doesn’t mean that they have to give away all their cash.
Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38) As we start to sow in faith, we begin to think about and be thankful for the abundance that we already have, no matter how small it may seem. And we need to start giving to others. If we don’t have enough money, we can start sowing by finding ways to give of our time.
And when it comes to our income, we should have the goal of paying a tithe to our church. If that’s too much right now, we can start with some smaller amount that we regularly give. Paying a tithe isn’t about obeying a commandment out of the Old Testament; it’s about making a statement to God and ourselves that we trust Him to take care of us financially. It’s really a declaration that we believe in God’s abundance.
As we get going with this whole process we need to be careful that we don’t lose heart and grow weary. Because we are sowing seeds, and not popping coins in a vending machine, it will take some time before we see the results. But Paul reminds us that we will reap, as long as we don’t give up.