Everything we say and do is investment deposited in the lives of others. The outcome will always be a reflection of the seeds sown whether intentional or random. Let us carefully consider the principle of sowing and reaping approaching it with wisdom.
Kinds of Seeds
For much of my life I paid little attention to this process. The seeds I was sowing were not always beneficial! A quick cutting word, impatience, sarcasm, selfish use of resources and relationships. My list of less than desirable seed is longer than I would like to include.
I’m ashamed to say that it took me too long to see the connection between my words and actions with the resulting outcomes. By then I had a lot of unfavourable “weeds” to pull and burn from my life. Unfortunately, my poor seed choices affected not just me but everyone in my life!
Though I have been diligent in recent years, that infestation of bad habits and patterns is not easy to uproot!
“My experience shows that those
who plant trouble and cultivate evil
will harvest the same.”
“Do not be deceived:
God is not mocked, for whatever one sows,
that will he also reap.”
In 1874 a member of the New York State Prison Board noticed that six members of the same family were incarcerated at the same time. The board did some research tracing the family line back to an ancestor born in 1720. He was considered lazy and godless, an alcoholic of “low moral character”. Marrying a woman who was much like himself, they had six daughters and two sons.
Of the approximately 1,200 descendants of this couple who were alive by 1874:
- 310 were homeless
- 160 were prostitutes
- 180 suffered from drug or alcohol abuse
- 150 were criminals who spent time in prison, including seven for murder
To top it off the state had spent $1.5 million to care for this line of descendants, and non had made a significant contribution to society.
But the opposite is also true!
“But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations
on those who love me and
obey my commands.”
In contrast, another family who lived in the same era was studied. This second family study began with the famous preacher Jonathan Edwards, who was born in 1703. He lived a life of strong moral values and became a minister and a dedicated family man.
He married Sarah who shared his values; together they had 11 children. Eventually, Jonathan Edwards became the president of Princeton University. Here is what researchers discovered about the approximately 1,400 descendants of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards by 1874:
- 13 were college presidents
- 65 were college professors
- 100 were attorneys
- 32 were state judges
- 85 were authors of classic books
- 66 were physicians
- 80 held political offices including three state governors
- 3 were state senators
- 1 became vice president of the United States
(Taken from 2 Equals 1, Married for Life Course)
“It is the same with my word. I send it out,
and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”
A wise person plants the best quality seed they have available – seed tested and chosen carefully.
“You have heard me teach things
that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses.
Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people
who will be able to pass them on to others.”
2 Timothy 2:2
Paul is talking to Timothy reminding him of the investment of time and truth deposited into his own life. He challenges Timothy to be faithful and plant these same seeds into the lives of others, who will in turn invest into yet others.
Seed produces! The harvest, though not immediate or guaranteed, exceeds the measure invested. The process is to be perpetual!
Sowing and Reaping
Consider these verses of sowing and reaping!
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.”
Psalm 126: 5
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.
At just the right time
we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness,
and you will harvest a crop of love.
Plow up the hard ground of your hearts,
for now is the time to seek the LORD,
that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’
It’s a New Day
No matter how much time is behind you or what your past has been. Today is a new day! It is never too late to begin to invest intentionally in your life and the lives of those around.
Even if there has been a season of discipline in your life, take hope!
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time,
but painful. Later on, however,
It produces a harvest of righteousness and peace…”
Hebrews 12: 11
Don’t be discouraged by poor crops you may have reaped from in the past. There is better harvests awaiting you!
“Remember this – a farmer who plants only a few seeds
will get a small crop.
But the one who plants generously
will get a generous crop.”
2 Corinthians 9:6
From this day forward, begin a journey a sowing wisely and generously! Just wait and see what kind of abundant harvest awaits!
“… those who live to please the Spirit will
harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.”