Reaping What You Sow
By Dr. Charles Stanley
Who we are today is the result of our past. By that, I mean our previous thoughts and actions determine, to a large extent, what kind of people we become. Those who act wisely now will have insight in the future to make judicious decisions. Those who save prudently are prepared for the needs of tomorrow.
It is a shortsighted person who thinks only of the here and now, and does as little as possible. Eventually, he will have no way to avoid the poor quality and small quantity of his rewards.
Scripture puts it this way: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7). The verse describes an unalterable law that affects everyone in all areas of life—family, work, and pleasure. It is both a warning and an encouragement.
We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow (Life Principle #6). Every farmer appreciates the meaning of this principle. Let’s examine it to make sure we understand the implications.
First, this truth applies to everyone, including both Christians and non-Christians.
The principle of Galatians 6:7 is irrevocable; there is no escape, either for the believer or for the unbeliever. It is a law of life.
Did you notice how the verse begins? It says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked.” Herein lies the root cause of the careless and indulgent lifestyle of many people. They are deceived. They either do not believe the truth, or they think they will somehow be the exceptions to God’s laws.
To mock God is to turn up one’s nose at Him or attempt to outwit Him. But this is foolish. Second Corinthians 5:10 says, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” If you were required to appear before the Lord’s judgment seat in the next five minutes, what kind of fruit would you be able to show?
Second, we reap what we sow.
This fact is welcome news for those with good habits. But it is a frightening thought for anyone currently involved in ungodly activities such as promiscuity, drug or alcohol abuse, neglect of family, or mistreatment of others in order to climb the ladder of success. We would not plant crabgrass and expect to harvest pineapples. Likewise, we cannot sow disobedience to God and expect to reap His blessing.
Third, we reap more than we sow.
Why do farmers plant seeds? Because they expect to harvest a great deal more than they sow. A single kernel can yield dozens, scores, even hundreds of seeds. It is the same way with both sin and righteousness—a small decision to do either good or bad reaps a much bigger crop, for either joy or sorrow.
Jesus used agrarian images to show that when we allow God’s Word to produce positive qualities in us, the results multiply: “The one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty” (Matt. 13:23).
On the other side of the ledger, the prophet Hosea describes the consequences awaiting those who choose wickedness: “They sow the wind and they reap the whirlwind” (Hos. 8:7).
Fourth, we reap later than we sow.
Some are deceived because their present seed has yet to produce a crop. So they continue down their course, mistakenly believing that there will never be a harvest.
But unlike the crops of the field, which are gathered at approximately the same time each year, there is no regular timetable for the harvest of life. Some results come quickly; others take a long time. But do not be deceived—their season will come. And by going the second mile now and doing more than is required, we will collect rich dividends later.
“For whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” What a comforting and assuring thought to those who faithfully labor under difficult circumstances! Righteousness in such situations will produce a rich harvest in the future, for our heavenly Father always keeps His promises.
Adapted from “The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible” (2008).
The Principle of Sowing and Reaping
Every choice has a consequence. If we make wise, godly decisions, we can expect God to reward us for our faithfulness. If we make rash or sinful choices, we can anticipate negative consequences (Gal. 6:7-8). In other words, you reap what you sow, more than you sow, and later than you sow (Life Principle #6). (Watch The Principle of Sowing and Reaping.)
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