Today we begin a series with a simple but powerful principle: You Reap What You Sow. The idea is that if you plant a tomato seed, you reap tomatoes, and not cucumbers. Note that the harvest is always later, and it is greater – in other words, there is a multiplication effect of what we sow. St. Paul says in Galatians 6:7, “Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows.” This works for both good and for bad – our good deeds and our sin – and it is true for everyone whether we like it or not. If we neglect to sow seeds, we eventually reap nothing. St. Paul goes on, “…because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit” (Gal 6:8). This is about personal responsibility: we choose what we sow. We know this principle to be true from our own life experience, even if it is harder to see when we are younger – and it is a battle for us, because we have a fallen nature, and part of us just wants results and pleasure now and doesn’t care about our future. Then Paul says, “Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith” (Gal 6:9-10). So we strive to first (1) evaluate our lives, (2) take action to sow the right seeds, (3) patiently continue in the right direction, and (4) persevere. The main question this week is: Where in my life am I sowing good seeds, and what part of my life am I neglecting? In other words, notice the good seeds from your past where you are now reaping awards, and identify that nagging feeling where new seeds can be sown. This may apply to our marriage, kids, our career and skills, our finances. Celebrate the good things and be hopeful that in the neglected areas seeds can be sown that will reap later and greater rewards. Questions to reflect on in small groups:
Where in your life right now are you reaping the benefits of sowing good seeds from the past?
Read aloud Galatians 6:7-8. What does it mean to you that God cannot be mocked or deceived?
Where are you sowing the right seeds and simply need to persevere so that later you will reap the right harvest?
Is there an area of your life that you are neglecting to sow the right seeds? What area is that? What would it look like to start sowing the right seeds this week?
You reap what you sow is often said to remind people of their failings or they are getting what they deserve. How do we keep this principle in mind while embracing God’s grace?