Reap What You Sow? or Nah?
We’ve all heard the saying “You reap what you sow.”
It’s usually stated when a Christian sees someone who is faced with challenges or “struggles”, right? Maybe you’ve heard it this way: “So and so is going through that because they are reaping what they sowed.” I know I’ve said it and I’ve definitely heard it.
For example, when we hear that someone, who has done us wrong (in our eyes), is faced with unforeseen sickness, financial strain, or some other unfortunate event or circumstance, it is common for some to put on self-righteous glasses and peer down judgmental noses and condemn their “enemy” by saying ‘God don’t like ugly and they are paying for messing with a child of the Most High!’ This is usually either followed by eye-rolling, high fives or a “I know that’s right!”
Am I stepping on any toes? Come on. You can admit it. I won’t tell anyone.
First off, I will say that the Bible does speak of sowing and reaping. However, usually, it is tied to God’s principle of giving and receiving and sowing into the Kingdom of Heaven. It is not always about punishment and wrath. Yet, there are those people who have been conditioned to think so highly of themselves that they believe these scriptures mean that if a person treats another person “bad”, they will reap something bad from God.
Think about it. You really don’t hear that someone is reaping what they’ve sown when referring to something good that has happened. Instead, you will hear them say that ‘so and so is richly blessed because they blessed others’ or because ‘they are “living right”’.
Do you see the contrast?
As professed Believers, we often quote scriptures and proclaim that ‘our God is a good God who loves us in spite of us’ and that ‘He pours out His grace and love on all of His children because he is not a respecter of person’ and that ‘He reigns on the just as well as the unjust’.
Which one of those statements do you hold true? Does it depend on the situation and the players involved? Is sowing and reaping only applied when someone has wronged you and you think they need to be punished for your perceived mistreatment?
Have you ever thought about the fact that maybe your “enemy” has been diagnosed with cancer because they didn’t heed the Surgeon General’s warnings that smoking can lead to cancer or death?
Maybe they are going through financial strains because they aren’t good stewards of their money.
Maybe they lost their job because the company was downsizing and had no choice but to let them go.
Maybe their dog bit them because they were feeding it the wrong dog food.
Maybe their cat scratched them because its nails were too long.
The list of circumstances could go on and on. But they all have one thing in common: THEY HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU! Let me repeat. THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU OR GOD PUNISHING THEM ON YOUR BEHALF.
God’s love is unconditional. Thank God! He doesn’t first look at our faults and decide to love us or not. In fact, He doesn’t look at our faults or deeds at all. He loves us in spite of us. So why would He change His ways to suit our needs?
Can you imagine if God really did work this way? We would all walk around hurting, broke, sick, in pain and just plain pitiful because, well let’s face it, every one of us has done some thing(s) in our lifetime that didn’t sit right with others. At least I know I have. But then again, raise your hand if you are perfect and have never made mistakes or decisions that adversely affected others. I’ll wait…. Hmmm. I don’t see any hands so I can assume that I am correct. We all have done things that could be deemed as “wrong” or “bad” to someone else.
Yet, God doesn’t punish people. People punish people. Therefore, God will never, ever, ever punish someone on your behalf. Sorry to disappoint you. God is not a bully or an attack dog waiting for you, or anyone else, to say “sick ‘em”.
Let’s renew our minds today. The next time someone who has done “wrong” to you, or someone else, is faced with unfortunate circumstances, please don’t take credit for it (or blame God). Instead, pray for them and their situation. Pray that they rely, solely, on God to fix their circumstances. Pray that no matter what, God is glorified. Pray that hearts are changed (yours included) and that circumstances turn around. Take yourself and your feelings out of the equation. Remember, what they are going through has nothing to do with you. Above all, remember to show them Christ’s love. You will be blessed because of it.
So the next time you hear someone else say, “They are going through that because they are reaping what they sowed.” Simply ask, “Well if that’s true, what about all the good things they’ve done?” They will look at you and hopefully have a WHOAment!
TC’s Side Note: When I was writing this, I thought about the times the Bible mentions that ‘He will make my enemies be a footstool’. Could this mean that they will be put down and I will be elevated? Not quite. After researching more, I had another WHOAment. God will turn it so their actions will be under my feet. When something is under your feet, you won’t stumble on it. It is no longer an obstacle. It is nonexistent and a moot point. I will walk as though it doesn’t exist. Their actions won’t stop me from having favor with others. Their actions won’t hinder me from praising God. Their actions will simply be “their actions” and they will have no effect on me. It is more about how I react to them. As usual, it’s about me, not them.