September 21 - Sowing into the Lives of Others
The principle of sowing and reaping is very basic and obvious in the world of agriculture, but is also important to understand in the spiritual realm. Sowing is a very questionable activity, requiring much faith in waiting for the outcome. When a seed is own, the result is not immediately apparent. After much watering and caring, maybe one can reap something. This applies to the situation when we care for the needs of others, or bearing the burdens of one another. When we bear the burdens of another, the law of Jesus Christ is completed.
One way that we sow into the lives of another is by restoring the erring brother. When a person in Christ is obvious in sin, those who are spiritual must come to help. In this kind of sowing, one must not only be patient but be spiritual. If we do so by our own fleshly power, we would be impatient, harsh and judgmental. This not only hurls more hurt on the sinning person, it also minimize the effectiveness. Being gentle, patient and relying on the direction of the Holy Spirit is the only way to bring restoration and change. If we are not careful, we might also fall into temptation when we try to help others. Those who touch fire can easily be burnt themselves.
Another way of sowing into the lives of others is to do good. Doing good does not bring immediate gratification. Some grateful soul may say a word of thanks but many others do not even do so. It is something that eventually tires the one who does good. Many others even have the feeling of futility, getting discouraged and have even stopped doing good to others. Paul urges us not to give up this kind of sowing, knowing that if we do not let up, we shall reap in the end. This, again, requires faith and trust in the goodness of God, not in our own ability and kindness.
Eventually there are only two kinds of sowing, sowing according to the flesh and sowing according to the Spirit. Doing things according to one’s own desire will always reap corruption. When such sowing reaches harvest time, the fruits are bad, decayed and corrupted. Anything that proceeds from what you want for your own pleasure, glory and gratification will not have good ending. Even when we want to do something good and constructive, we must follow the direction of the Holy Spirit. Some of us have the experience of doing a good thing at the wrong time and under the wrong circumstances. Only doing good in obedience to the Holy Spirit may yield eternal harvests.
Are you sowing into the lives of others? Do you bear one another’s burdens? Do you care only for yourself and have become discouraged in trying to help others? If you do not sow, you do not reap, but when you sow, make sure that it is in obedience to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Begin your sowing now.
Ps 105:37-45 Isa 37:1-38:22 Gal 6:1-18 Prov 23:24