As I look back upon my life and as I think about all the men I have interacted with and counseled over the years, I have concluded that our lives are nothing more than the sum of the choices we have made over time. Most of our problems and struggles are the result of bad decisions. It is a reaping. This is the way God designed life.
I thought about this when I read some insightful words from the great Christian scholar Alec Motyer. He said:
“In a world created by a good God, evil and injustice are ‘inherently self-destructive.’ The resulting social disintegration expresses [God’s] wrath. He presides over the cause and effect processes he has built into creation so they are expressions of his holy rule of the world.”
In other words, God has designed the world so that pride, deceit, greed, cruelty, and exploitation have natural consequences that are a manifestation of His anger towards evil.
The prophet Isaiah said, “Say to the righteous that it will go well with them, for they will eat the fruit of their actions.” (Isaiah 3:10)
Then the prophet Jeremiah says, “I the Lord search the heart, I examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10)
Rarely do we fully realize the significance of the decisions and choices we make. They always bring consequences into our lives. It is your choices and decisions that determine the ultimate outcome of your life.
Several years ago, my wife went through a year-long course taught by a fine, well-respected counselor in our city. The purpose was to equip participants with skills needed to help people find healing from the painful struggles of life. The foundation of her lessons and their understanding of people’s problems was built on a principle found in one of the letters of the Apostle Paul. In Galatians 6:7, Paul says:
“Do not be deceived, God will not be mocked, whatever a man sows, this he shall also reap.”
Paul uses an illustration from the physical world of agriculture. There are certain objective principles at work in this model, and you have to adapt to them. For instance, if you plant pumpkin seeds, you get pumpkins. If you plant watermelon seeds, you get watermelons. This is the way agriculture works.
This is also true in the spiritual, moral order. Yet, many are blind to this, believing they can live any way they would like without facing the consequences. You cannot just make up the rules for life on the fly. Eventually, there will be grave consequences, as you are out of touch with reality.
You cannot sow pumpkin seeds and get watermelons. You cannot sow foolishly and expect an exceptional life. God makes it clear: “I will not be mocked!” If you sow pumpkin seeds, you are going to get pumpkins. If you sow nothing, you will get nothing. If you sow foolishly, you will reap a life that is impoverished and mediocre.
Notice that Paul also says, “whatever you sow.” It is all-inclusive. The law of sowing and reaping is functioning in every area of your life including your finances, morals, relationships, physical health, intellect, and spiritual life.
This law is operating in your life regardless of your intentions, regardless of how well you understand it, or regardless of whether or not you believe it is true.
The pain and sorrow we often experience is because we break the fabric of God’s design and consequently reap what we sow.
Therefore I leave you with this question: Unless your life is flourishing in all areas, are you willing to sow in a different direction, knowing that every decision and every choice you make will eventually come back to you?