“The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”
Galatians 6:6-10 NASB
I remember hearing a regular admonishment from my mother. “You reap what you sow.” As a young child, this had little meaning, as it did little to change my behavior. I think there is extra grace when we are small. There is ample time for second chances. I paid little attention to what I did, or what I did to others. As time went by, and the buffer between me and consequence became thinner, I began to take heed of that message.
God has established the law of sowing and reaping. You plant a seed of corn, you will reap corn, not a bean plant. If you plant seeds of derision, you will sow the same. I learned that lesson so many times as I grew up. I had a tongue that was quite corrosive. I knew how to cut people to the core. For years I got away with it. I think I had the good fortune of dealing with people who were better than me. It is only by mercy that they did not return fire.
I began to run into people in my early adulthood who were better at verbal humiliation than I was, and they went as far as they could. Still others took the words of my mouth and sought to pursue other action against me. I suffered blow back for the first time in my life.
In the spiritual realm, the law of sowing and reaping has eternal significance. It is easy to engage in the battle, to seek the victory, and the verbal destruction of others. As God has made my heart new, I have become acutely aware of the power that He ha given me.
I have the gift of encouragement. That very same gift, if given over to the dark side, can be the most destructive power on earth. I encourage people by having a sense of what they need to help them in their walk with the Lord. The Holy Spirit has added power to my words, to reach the heart. I am careful to use my words to edify. I have become acutely aware of the power of my tongue.
It is really hard sometimes. People who are hurting have a habit of hurting others. They take the pain that they have received and pass it on. They have been sown a crop of pain, and the harvest is the fruit of their tongues. God has filled me with His grace. I can look to so many times when I did not defend myself against a wrong, when I did not argue a point, when I allowed the last word, to be that of my accuser, knowing that God knew the truth.
There is a need in me for constant surrender. In especially yield when I am dealing with those who have not sought forgiveness in Jesus. I take the blows with no argument, as I want nothing to come between them and salvation in the Lord. In the past, Jesus has shown me His great power as I have seen adversaries, become brothers and sisters in Christ. There have been moments when people have actual come to me and cited my loving response as the one thing that convinced them of the validity of the Gospel.
Believers, know that your words and deeds have eternal significance. We are in a time where people are in fear. I read of a church that was burned to the ground in Mississippi. The arsonist left a message: I bet you stay home now.” Even here in Iowa, my own church Fb page received unflattering comments as we made our plans to reopen. Rather than reply, I simply deleted and blocked the offending person.
As we open up, there will be people clamoring and criticizing on both sides. It is all about choices. It is all about the freedom of choice, even if there are consequences. It is important not to rub liberty in the face of those trapped in fear. This is also true amongst people in the household of faith.
Go out today and love someone. You, brothers and sisters, have the power of the Holy Spirit in you. Abide in Him, and He is the voice that the world hears. Let His love come from you to people terrified of what comes next.
Do not grow weary of doing good. The rewards are eternal, and the time is short. I believe this pandemic is a warning shot. God is reminding us how tenuous our hold on this world and what we deem normal is. Cling to the eternal today!
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.”
Psalms 19:14 NASB