Day 4: Sowing and Reaping
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7
If you wanted to grow some fresh oregano, what would you do? You’d plant some oregano seeds! When those oregano seeds were fully grown, you wouldn’t be picking any tomatoes, basil, or roses—you’d be picking oregano. You wouldn’t be surprised to see the oregano either—you’d expect to see the oregano after planting oregano seeds!
Scripture makes it very clear that what we sow (plant) in life, we will also reap (harvest). Just like you would expect oregano to grow from oregano seeds, you should expect impatience to grow from the seeds of impatience you’ve been planting.
One of the things the Lord taught me early on was that if I sowed love into others, I would reap a harvest of love. Until that point, I had been mostly planting discontent, pride, bitterness, rudeness, selfishness…and boy, had I been reaping that harvest.
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12 (NLT)
If you’ve been feeling like people aren’t there for you when you need them, or they aren’t very patient with you, start examining your own behavior. Are you often short-tempered with people? Do you take time out of your busy day to do good to someone else, or do you blow it off because you’re just “too busy” and they should “learn how to help themselves”? Maybe you don’t even need to think very long before you can come up with areas where you’ve been sowing in negative ways.
Start sowing God’s love! As we’ve already seen, God’s love is so different. It doesn’t give up, it’s not self-centered—it gives, and gives, and gives some more! God has sown His love into our hearts, and look at the harvest He’s reaping in all of us! Not only that, but He’s given us a chance to get in on the action.
I remember one incident where I had a choice to do something nice, at a moment that was inconvenient, for someone who didn’t seem to have a care in the world about what I’d like to do, or doing nice little things for me. I was about to grouse and refuse, but the Holy Spirit jumped up inside: “You reap what you sow.” I got up and did what I needed to do.
Believe me, my brain and my emotions argued with me about it, but I was serious about doing things God’s way, and that meant obeying the direction He gave me at that moment. Looking back, I believe that decision was a turning point in my relationship with that person, and it was just a tiny, tiny thing He asked me to do. Don’t let the devil trick you into thinking small things can’t make a huge impact.
I’m sure by now the Holy Spirit has pinpointed something about the way you’ve been sowing. If so, you can deal with it right now by praying something like this (if not, then ask Him to show you):
“Father, forgive me for behaving that way and not walking in love. I ask you to tear up those crops of (jealousy, hate, unforgiveness, pride—whatever it is) and show me how to sow love into other people’s lives. I am serious about doing things Your way, and I thank You for helping me to continue growing in You.”
God’s love benefits everyone. The people in your life will be blessed, and you will be blessed. It’s a win-win kind of thing.
Pray the prayer I wrote above. While you’re at it, take the time to forgive anyone you’ve been holding grudges against, and ask the Lord to bless those people. Take it a step further and ask Him if there’s anything else you can do to sow His love into their lives.