CLERGY CORNER: You reap what you sow

Posted on 22 October 2015 by LeslieM

The fall season is a time of cooler temperatures, brightly colored leaves, and anticipated fruit and vegetable harvests. Northern states tend to see and feel the season more than we do here in South Florida, where 80 to 90 degree temperatures still taunt us. The many harvest festivals, pumpkins, apples and store displays serve to remind us that it is here nonetheless.

Fall, also known as autumn, is so named because of what happens to leaves as the weather grows colder in most parts of the country – they eventually fall from the trees. The season was originally identified as harvest due to its status as the last opportunity to reap a crop for the year.

We live in a time when you can buy just about any fruit or vegetable year ‘round regardless of the season. Importing from various countries with different climates from ours translates into mangoes, watermelon, and coconuts in winter. Our tropical climate means we get to enjoy these things practically year ‘round. The more that is locally grown, the better for us and local farmers. The farmers can only sell what they grow, however. And they can only grow what they intentionally plant.

This principle extends beyond agriculture into our lives and experiences as well. You reap what you sow. Sowing happens when we invest, put in, or contribute to something. If you invest in learning, you will reap an education. If you put effort into your exercise regimen, you will reap better health. If you contribute to the productivity of your employer by possessing a good work ethic, you will reap a salary and perhaps a bonus or raise.

This idea of sowing and reaping affects our relationships as well. What we get out of our interactions with each other is directly related to what we put in.

In fact, Jesus’ command in Matthew 7:12, also known as the Golden Rule, directs us to sow with good intentions. “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” So, if I expect my neighbor to treat me fairly, I need to be fair with him. If I want patience and mercy from others because of my inabilities and frailties, then I must be patient and merciful with them when I am subject to theirs.

This is an inescapable fact of life and human experience. You reap what you sow. It is far easier for us to respond to people in kind. Try being friendly and gracious with your server at the restaurant on your next visit and see if you don’t get better service than when you were irritated and demanding. Galatians 6:7 makes it plain, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” You cannot sow strife and expect to reap peace. You cannot sow hate and expect to reap love. You cannot sow discord and expect to reap unity.

What kind of harvest would you like this season? If you have sown good seeds of compassion, kindness, and patience with others, then you can look for an abundant return of the same in your life. If you have sown negative words, attitudes, and behavior then don’t be surprised when those same things return in multiplied measure. It’s never too late, however, to change the course of our lives by adjusting our outlook to realize that we can have some effect upon what happens to us. In this season, let us intentionally sow good seeds so that we may reap a good harvest.

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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