The Biblical Principle of Sowing and Reaping

What does it mean - Reap What You Sow?

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If what you have is not what you need, it's not your harvest, it's your seed.

Though the originator of the above saying is unknown, its relevance to Christian living should not be overlooked. So often Christians with insufficiency hold tight to what they have when it would be wise for them to let some of it go -- to plant it for future benefit. Releasing is biblical. Hoarding and holding is not.

The law of sowing and reaping is called a law for a reason. It is a Godly principle and part of a covenant He made with Adam and all of Creation in Genesis 8:22: "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

So far, the earth has not ceased, which means that the principle of seedtime and harvest (reaping and sowing) remains active and mankind is still subject to it. Whenever humans obey the laws of God, it takes discipline and faith in the beginning, but in the long-run, blessings follow. When people disobey God, their actions are void of faith and lessons are usually learned the hard way.

No doubt the act of sowing for the purpose of reaping is often done with caution for those who are new to the faith or in the midst of a major test or trial. For example, a single mother working two jobs to feed her children and barely able to pay rent might question the sanity of paying tithing or making a contribution beyond the 10 percent required. And yet, the Bible asks Christians to test God with this type of sowing in Malachi: "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts. The Scripture goes on to say that the windows of heaven will open and there will be so much blessing, there won't be enough room to store it.

It's not often God says to test Him. In fact, nowhere else or for any other reason does God give Christians permission to do so. Throughout the inspired Word in the Bible, God gives commands and requires Christians to demonstrate faith. The good news is that God also offers promises for those who are willing to trust Him. A good example is Proverbs 11:18 that says, "Seeds sown in righteousness will have a sure reward." Galatians 6:7 also helps to prove this point: "For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."

Of course, the Scripture in Proverbs is specific about the type of seed that brings rewards. If righteousness is required from the one sowing, then this implies that a Christian living outside of God's will may not expect such a positive return. In Wikipedia and Merriam Webster's dictionaries, the word "righteousness" is defined these two ways.

  • One that has been "judged" or "reckoned" as leading a life that is pleasing to God.
  • Acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin.

With these two definitions in mind, Christians are in the position to evaluate their behavior and attitudes about God before releasing seed for the purpose of reaping a reward. If a person's lifestyle is questionable, then adjustments need to be made. And if there is sin, Christians have the opportunity to repent and receive forgiveness at the cross of Jesus Christ.

In Galatians 6:7, Paul made another point about sowing and reaping. He said that what you sow you will reap. If this is true, then the type of seed sown also counts. For example, if a farmer plants corn seeds, he can't expect to grow tomatoes. Likewise, a Christian who sows time into the Kingdom of God and expects a monetary return may be disappointed. While God may bless them financially based on their servant's heart, He doesn't have to according to His law. Most likely, God will reward that person with time or have someone pour into them spiritually.

The bottom line is, if money is needed, then money must be sown. Though miracles do happen, Christians are not supposed to depend on them. But they can depend on God's Words and His laws, including the principle of sowing and reaping. Therefore, If what you have is not what you need, it's not your harvest, it's your seed.

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Written by: Jamee Rae