SOWING AND REAPING
© 2018 Philip A Matthews
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”Galatians 6:7-10
There are three axioms or laws of life that everybody needs to be aware of. A poet once wrote: "Every moment we are sowing seeds that yield much good or bad. And each one is surely growing, cheering souls or making sad. These words reflect a universal truism: Every action or inaction has a natural, unavoidable consequence, good or bad.
Scripture also contains another similar axiom: "You cannot fool God, so don't make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant. If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life (Galatians 6:7-8 Contemporary English Version). That is an unbreakable, inescapable law of the universe: You reap what you sow. Period.
A third axiom of life is this: It is impossible NOT to sow something every moment. That is, you can never do nothing! When you are doing "nothing, you are actually doing something! Inaction is a type of action.
But most people don't believe this or forget this and thus live however they want to live. And they think they won't have to pay for it. This is how life so often goes:
I know that most good things in life require time, effort, and consistency, but really I'm not very self-disciplined but really pretty lazy, and it's my mom's fault, so I'll wait a little longer to start working hard. Negative consequence: You ain't getting nothing or going nowhere in this life because accomplishing anything worthwhile takes work.
I'm tired, so I'll skip correcting my child this time. Do this 10,000 times before the child is 18. Negative consequence: an untrained, obnoxious child who will have a tough time getting along in the world.
Wow, see that hot girl over there! You imagine and fantasize about her, and nobody knows because it's all in your mind. Supposedly, this is a "victimless" activity that hurts nobody. But you just damaged and diminished yourself emotionally and, therefore, your marriage. And don't dare to actually flirt: You just created thoughts and emotions within that girl that she'll be forced to deal with emotionally.
Or, you skip real women and concentrate on the virtual women: Porn. Negative consequence: Every moment of indulgence reprograms your brain until that's the only stimuli you can respond to. Poor wife! Poor single girl that you will never have a desire to marry! Your neuro circuitry in your brain is negatively altered. These are documented facts. See http://www.christianpost.com/news/study-men-who-use-porn-are-less-likely-to-get-married-may-be-contributing-to-decline-in-marriage-in-the-us-131348/. See also http://yourbrainonporn.com/brain-structure-and-functional-connectivity-associated-pornography-consumption-2014, from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry. Premarital sex also rewires the brain! See http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/39405-science-proves-premarital-sex-rewires-the-brain. And guess what? The Apostle Paul already revealed the self-damaging effects of sexual immorality 2,000 years ago, long before scientists confirmed everything with their recent studies: "Stay away from sexual sins. Other sins that people commit don't affect their bodies the same way sexual sins do. People who sin sexually sin against their own bodies" (1 Corinthians 6:19 God's Word). So surprise! The Bible was true all along, even when we didn't know what Paul was talking about!
My mother is crazy and so out of touch it's embarrassing. Things have really changed since she was a teen at least 100 years ago! So I'm gonna listen only to my homies and start ditching school, 'cause we got better things to do. In the 50 biggest US cities, only 52% of freshmen ever graduate. And only 25% of those dropouts ever earn their GEDs, relegating themselves to lower-class living forever.
In a moment of weakness, suffering from low self-esteem (her absent dad's fault, she claims), feeling lonely, seeking love and attention, a young unmarried woman (15-29) has sex, gets pregnant, and tries to raise her child alone. This happens with 71% of our black babies and 40% of all births in America. See http://www.newsmax.com/US/CDC-births-out-of-wedlock/2014/08/14/id/588668/. Or she becomes a single mom through divorce, separation, or death, or breakups of cohabitation relationships (62% end within 5 years, an atrocious "success" rate! See here), or for some other reason.
Automatically, 60% of all kids and 65% of the black kids in these families fall below the poverty line, usually permanent, multi-generational poverty. But only 11% of the kids in two-parent families are impoverished. See http://www3.uakron.edu/schulze/401/readings/singleparfam.htm. How many of these unwed moms know that they have really doomed themselves and their cute little kids to life-long poverty?
And, unfortunately, adequate finances and nurture from both a mother and a father are not the only thing these kids are guaranteed to miss in life. Too many become victims of the many evils associated with poverty: crime, high incarceration rates, high dropout rates, higher drug use, high unwed pregnancy rates and abortion rates, child abuse, etc. So instead of pointing out that most poverty is basically a direct result of immoral choices and decisions, today's politicians (and even religious organizations) foolishly keep trying to wipe out poverty by throwing money and social programs at a spiritual problem! If we sow to the fleshly desires, we automatically reap corruption. This position might be very politically-incorrect and opposed both by liberals and feminists (http://www.noweddingnowomb.com/about/), but there is no denying the direct association between family formation/family configuration and poverty and its many social ills (http://www.noweddingnowomb.com/research-about-the-epidemic/).
Life is filled with millions of these actions and inactions, all of which have consequences. You ate too much. Or you ate the wrong thing, too much fast food, because who has time to cook? You drank too much. You worked too much. You slept too much. You didn't sleep enough. You decide to do drugs. You decide not to do drugs. You procrastinated too long. You seldom tell your wife you love her. You take your husband for granted. You don't teach your daughter homemaking skills because it takes too much time and patience and you can just do it better and quicker yourself. You use your son for a shoulder to cry on, turning him into young man unable to become individuated from his mother. You spend too much money shopping for clothes to stuff into your five walk-in closets! You fail to be a good example, so you automatically become a bad example. You set off a chain of negative events by being a gossip and telling secrets. You won't forgive your wife so she wilts under your disapproval. You nag your husband till he tunes you out or leaves. And on and on, ad infinitum. People do this stuff every day throughout the world, and each action or inaction has unavoidable consequences.
But in actuality, there is a fourth axiom of life, spoken by the wisest man who ever lived, which many people, probably most, forget: "The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you. And that's it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it's good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 The Message). That is, you will answer to God for everything you do in life. Everyone is accountable, if not in this life, then in the next. There is a reckoning day. So even if you think that you've gotten away with something, there is coming a day when you will discover that you didn't get away with anything after all! As the Apostle John the Revelator prophesied:
"I [also] saw the dead, great and small; they stood before [God on] the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is [the Book] of Life. And the dead were judged (sentenced) by what they had done [their whole way of feeling and acting, their aims and endeavors] in accordance with what was recorded in the books" (Revelations 20:12 Amplified)
So, in summary, four things are true: (1) Everything we do has consequences; (2) If we sow selfishly, those consequences will be destructive and even deathly, but if we sow unselfishly, those consequences will foster life; (3) It is impossible not to sow something every second we live on earth; and (4) We will have to answer to God for what we sowed and why.
These four axioms make life on earth extremely scary. Nobody can afford to live even one moment selfishly. It's just too dangerous! Scripture also notes, "But when the Day of God's Judgment does come, it will be unannounced, like a thief [in the night]. The sky will collapse with a thunderous bang, everything disintegrating in a huge conflagration, earth and all its works exposed to the scrutiny of Judgment. Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life? (2 Peter 3:10-11 The Message).
So being aware of this, now is the time to start taking deliberation actions that will get you to where you want to go and produce the results you want to see. Make some goals and become accountable to someone to reach those goals. If we haven't already done so, it is time to ask forgiveness for our past mistakes. God can salvage just about anything from our horrible past lives, but there is usually a lot of pain and inconvenience involved. It is time to quit being a victim of your past circumstances and your own or your parents' bad decisions. Get it together, finally. It is time to start sowing seeds that produce life, in this world and the next.
God has made me in His image. I will seek to live up to this responsibility. With God's help, I pledge to be the best that I can be, by living aware of His presence every day, by developing my mind through diligent study, by saying "No to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and other harmful substances and habits, by saying "Yes to a chaste life dedicated to His glory, by being loving, forgiving, loyal, and helpful to my fellow man, and by acknowledging God in all my ways, because He will give my life direction.