Don’t be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7)
Ah, spring! People love the fresh scent in the air and the warm breezes and bright sunlight. Farmers, however, find this to be crunch time. The clock is ticking and weather seldom cooperates. The seed has got to get into the ground, the sooner the better.
Wouldn’t it be strange if a farmer planted corn and beans came up instead? Or if a home gardener planted a bunch of onion sets and up popped radishes; or if someone’s tomato plants yielded peppers instead? We know that this is impossible. The seed you plant determines the kind of plant you end up with.
But, oddly, people think that life can happen differently. People sow their wild oats and then are surprised at the horrible crop that results. People will cry and whine, “Why me? Why do these things always happen to me?” They feel like victims of something someone else did to them, rather than realizing that they are suffering from self-inflicted wounds.
Our verse today reveals that there are definite principles in real life that are unavoidable. When you plant a little trouble, you will harvest it with a capital T. Actions (and attitudes) have consequences. If you don’t want such results, you must change the original behavior. You must make different choices.
The quality of your actions and choices will determine the quality of the outcomes. If you plant an acorn, you can end up with a fine oak with wonderful shade and high quality wood.
Now God goes on to give guidance as to our choices. He said in verse 8 that if we make choices just to please our own sinful or selfish nature, then our harvest will be destruction. Now it may take time. We never harvest in the same season in which we plant. But, sooner or later self-centered choices, attitudes and actions come back to bite us.
Rather God urges us to choose those things which please His Spirit. When we plant these things, we end up with Life! How do we know what will please the Spirit of God? Well, God’s Spirit inspired the Bible, so this is the number one place to learn what pleases Him.
Today our society approves all kinds of choices and actions that are contrary to the Bible. We broke away from that “old-fashioned” book back in the Sixties and Seventies. At that time, we (I was a part of the Hippie generation) thought we were smarter than that old book. So we threw off its guidelines for marriage and sexual morality. We knew better. These were just old taboos.
Today we have two generations of people shattered by divorce and its consequences. We’ve discovered that marriage matters. We have had millions of babies die as a result of our self-centeredness. And we now have dozens of sexually transmitted diseases, many incurable, where once we only had two—syphilis and gonorrhea. Over the last 40 plus years, we have seen first hand that God was right. He cannot be mocked. We did reap what we had sowed.
Real life is simple, really. When a farmer plants corn, he gets corn. When we plant selfishly, we get destruction. Sooner or later. Now, why did God give us this warning? He gave this, because He loves us and would love to spare us a great deal of heartache. He would love us to experience His Life—now, not just after we die. Trust Him, He knows how life really works. He also knew that making the right choices, the ones that please the Holy Spirit, is often hard. That’s why He ends this section with this word of encouragement:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9) Plant your acorns, small and inconsequential as they may seem. In the end you will have fine, solid oak to show for it—the oak of good character, the oak of a healthy family, the oak of solid friendships, and a clear conscience to go with all that as well.