You will reap what you sow

Published 4:31 pm Tuesday, September 28, 2021

BY AL EARLEY

Columnist

A dying grandma tells her grandchild, “I want to leave you my farm. That includes the barn, livestock, the harvest, the tractor, and other equipment, the farmhouse and $24,548,750.45 in cash.” The grandchild, absolutely floored and about to become rich says, “Oh grandma, you are SO generous! I didn’t even know you had a farm. Where is it?” With her last breath, Grandma whispered, “Facebook…”

There is nothing like a little farm humor to set the stage for a look at the Law of Identical Harvest.  We find it in Galatians 6:7 which reads, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”  It makes sense that if a person sows goodness, kindness, and love s/he will reap a good harvest of the same.  If a person sows evil, then s/he should reap the same as well.

But when we look around the world it seems there are a lot of very rich people who got rich off the backs of the poor, took advantage of the weak, and preyed upon children along the way.  Let’s call him the despicable man.  He has it all: lots of beautiful women, fine cars, and lots of power.  It sure does look like God is being mocked.

We may wonder to ourselves whether all the benefits of being a despicable man are a façade.  Does his life seem meaningless inside?  Does he experience shallow relationships and messed up kids?  Does he know who he can trust, or can he trust anyone?  Does he really reap what he sows?

It rarely works the way we would like, that we get to see the despicable man get what he deserves.  God doesn’t let us in on what He is doing in the lives of others.  It is not for us to be able to say, “See I told you so.”

In verse 8 Paul tells us that we have to learn to trust in God’s perfect justice as we read, “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”  Eternity is the great equalizer.  I have lived long enough to know that people usually reap what they sow in this life.  As a pastor I get to see the secret life of people, and almost always see that a person’s sinful actions come back to haunt them as surely as their good actions bring blessings.  I know people reap what they sow because God is not limited by a person’s life on earth.  God has eternity to exact divine judgment.  When we remember this we can trust that the Bible is true when it says God is perfectly good, just, and merciful.

But we should also let go of our desires to see someone we judge as despicable receive their just rewards.  Our ability to judge fairly is way above our paygrade since our knowledge of other people is so limited.  We should focus much more on how we live, and whether we have reaped what we have sown.  For this text is not so much for the despicable man as it is for each of us.  Paul goes on to write in verse 9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Why does Paul need to remind us not to become weary of doing good?  In conversations with people, a common response to the last 19 months is a general feeling of fatigue.  Many people have become so weary they don’t really want to do anything, much less look for ways to do good.  I also notice that many people are weary of living life the way we have these last 19 months.  Maybe it is time we not become weary of doing good.  I know from the many helping ministries in my community that volunteers have been hard to find.  They could use some people who are looking to do good.

Think of a good thing that you did that reaped a greatharvest in your life.  What was the last good thing you have done?  Are there things you used to do before covid that you no longer do?  Is it time to begin doing those things again?

To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles, see www.lagrangepres.org