Friday, July 20, 2007

If You Didn't Sow It, Don't Reap It


Years ago, a visiting missionary told our congregation that while over in Africa, his son, at 16, had begun some rebellious behavior, doing things like smoking and sneaking out of the house at night, causing trouble in town. The father, especially, was blown away. He went to God and asked why his son was behaving this way, especially since he and his wife had raised him according to biblical principles and with much love in their home. Both parents became depressed and found themselves starting to doubt their parenting ability and sadly, the wisdom of the Bible in this area.

Then the missionary told us that God, one day, seemed to tell him, "You did not sow into your son's bad behavior, so do not reap from it. Don't reap poison or depression from that which you didn't sow as seeds."

Wow. I heard that sermon 13 years ago and I've never forgotten it, mostly because I'm often reminded of those words.

When I'm accused of something I didn't do--and if my explanations cannot repair it-- I do not allow myself to reap confusion and misery from it.

If my adult daughter behaves in ways her dad and I never did, I do not reap an inner unrest or hopelessness. I pray, instead.

If we have a financial problem, one which arrived not because of unwise spending, I do not panic and stay awake at night, but trust God to help us fix it.

And on and on.

Now of course, please note that I'm not saying we do nothing about problems we initially didn't sow seeds into. No, what I'm really saying is we're careful about what we allow to grow on the inside... in those places around our hearts. Those important places from which we view and perceive and live much of our lives. Those places where Real Life takes place... and where the truth is still known--God is still God and He is still good.

It's in those places we guard, carefully, what we allow to grow, not allowing weeds where we only planted flowers...

... the same way we watch diligently what we're sowing on the outside amongst those who are watching us farm our way through this Life.


***

"Let not your heart be troubled..."

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