sowing and reaping

Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.

Galatians 6:7-10

There is probably nothing more obvious in nature and in life than this: you reap what you sow. Every spring we see that in our gardens. And this is obvious as well in our lives, though we have to remember that weeds come up from who knows where not only literally, but figuratively as well, so that not everything we’re experiencing is because of what we’ve sown.

Just the same, this is an important principle to keep in mind. We’ve all sown to our flesh, and we’ve reaped accordingly. We often think of sexual sin when that comes to mind, but the list in Galatians (5:19-21, 26) makes it clear that it is about a host of things which ultimately cause discord and division.

Instead we’re to sow to the Spirit. The entire book of Galatians is important in trying to understand what that means along with the passage from Galatians 5 just cited. It is purposeful on our part in more ways than one. We try to sow to the Spirit both directly and indirectly. Directly through prayer and seeking to be open to God. And indirectly through continuing to attend to what God has for us in Christ: participation in church, morning and evening prayer, Scripture reading and meditation. In doing just what the above passage tells us, for that matter. Doing good to all, especially to those in the family of faith.

We need to keep doing this. Avoiding sowing to the flesh which always inevitably causes harm. To check ourselves, and every impulse that way, to stop it then and there. And instead to seek to sow to the Spirit, knowing it’s only the Spirit that brings about the good. And we wait for that. It will come, sometimes sooner than later. In and through Jesus.

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