Planting Seeds

I remember several years ago my wife went to a seminar that was sponsored by a highly regarded woman counsellor. They were seeking to teach the participants how to help and minister to people in the midst of painful struggles in life. The foundation of their teaching and their understanding of peoples’ problems is built upon this principle that I am going to share with you.

This principle comes from Paul’s words in Galatians 6:7:

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap.”

This is a common theme throughout the Bible:

In Isaiah 3:10 – we are told we will “eat the fruit of our actions.”

In Jeremiah 17:10 – God says: “I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

In Jeremiah 32:19 – God “gives to everyone according to His ways according to the fruit of his deeds.”

David gives us a picture of what is going on in this principle when he says in Psalm 7:17:

“He has dug a pit and hollowed it out and has fallen into the hole which he made.”

He says for many people life is like digging a hole and after digging it, they fall in the hole and struggle to get out.

I am not sure we grasp the magnitude of this teaching. In one sense God is not saying follow My ways or I will smack you. He is saying if you do not follow My ways, you will smack yourself. You will reap what you sow. So many people fail to realize that so many of our decisions and choices lead to an assault on our own beings.

Going back to Galatians 6:7, there are several significant words. He starts by saying, “Do not be deceived.” Clearly people are easily deceived into thinking I can make poor decisions for my life and get away with it, no consequences. God is making it clear; He will not be mocked. We are fools to believe we can live however we choose and not pay a price.

I am reminded of the chilling words of author Oscar Wilde in his book, De Profundis: “Terrible as what the world did to me, what I did to myself was far more terrible still.” This is why God asked the Israelites in Jeremiah 44:7:

“Why are you doing such great harm to yourselves?”

There is one more key word in Galatians 6:7. It is the word “whatever.” It is all inclusive. The law of sowing and reaping is functioning in every area of your life.

Every one of us is reaping financially from decisions we have made in the past. All of your relationships are reaping from what you have sown in the past. This includes your spiritual life, your career, your physical health, your intellect, and your morals. Whatever you sow, there will be a reaping.

Finally, we need to be reminded of Paul’s words in Galatians 6:9.

“Let us not lose heart in making good choices, for over time we will reap if we do not grow weary and give up.”

Making choices is like planting seeds. The consequences are not immediate, but over time there will be a harvest, so do not lose heart, particularly if you are making good, wise choices.

Richard E Simmons III is the founder and Executive Director of The Center for Executive Leadership and a best-selling author.


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