By Lori Beard
There have been times in my life when I have been in the position of seeing sad, hard consequential life circumstances that were a result of ungodly choices. This has happened in my life and in the lives of others around me. Galatians 6: 7-8 says one reaps what one sows. A dear friend of mine paraphrased that scripture like this…why would you plant corn and be upset when a green bean doesn’t grow?
She was mentoring me through relationships. I was a young, brash truth-teller. I never had a kind word for anybody, but I couldn’t figure out why I had no friends. She read this verse to me and then asked me, “Lori, have you planted kindness and generosity? Have you planted gentleness?”
No…no I had not. Why was I so surprised then that I was reaping what I had planted? I taught my girls that about life. They would make choices…live certain ways… and they would reap from those choices. Thank you God, they were wiser than me.
Well, I have lived a lot since then and seen a lot too. So often, things have happened as a direct result of someone’s ungodly lifestyle or choice and I have thought so many times, “Somebody needs to say that to them.” But the timing to do that is tricky because ungodly choices almost always lead us to places of sorrow and loss. So, I decided to write a blog with some of those hard things that need to be said now for people to read while they are not hurting from the consequences they are reaping. Maybe it will help us to think before we act. Or to consider the seeds we are so blithely tossing in the ground without thought as to what they will look like when they are grown. So, here goes.
These are not about anybody in particular … just scenarios that happen in real life everyday where we wish we could say a hard thing to prevent it happening again but the timing just stinks.
1. A man who loses his job again because he ___________ (fill in the blank). Then he cries about not being able to take care of his family, not having what he needs to provide. The hard thing that needs to be said is this: “If you sow seeds of laziness and disregard authority, if you refuse to go to work, well, you will lose your job and you will not have what you need to provide.” Seeds/reaping.
2. A woman raising a daughter yells at her husband, disrespects him, belittles him. Her daughter treats him exactly like momma. Well, that daughter will not be able to respect dad’s authority or accept his protection in areas of dating or marriage because mom taught her he was an idiot. The hard thing that needs to be said: “Repent momma to God, your husband and daughter.” Seeds/reaping.
3. A father or momma gets offended by another church member. They decide not to talk to that person. They ultimately leave the church over the offense. The hard thing that needs to be said: “Well, you have taught your children how to deal with offense when they become adults and also how to ‘love’ the Bride of Christ. The result of that is often that a child as an adult will respond exactly like you did. They will spend a life time searching for a church that doesn’t ‘offend’ them and never get into the deeper things of God or the deeper things of the Bible because they’re constantly hunting for a church.” Seeds/reaping.
4. A woman or man chooses a life of sexual immorality and contracts an STD. Hard thing that needs to be said here: “Sexual purity matters.” Seeds/reaping.
Every action…every single action has a consequence. God says so. This blog does not discount the providential will of God. And I fully understand that often suffering is simply about our becoming like Christ. But church until we admit that our actions have consequences and we stand ready to beg for mercy for our godless decisions, well, why then would we keep asking why? Why does this stuff happen to me?
We serve a God of incredible mercy and grace. Look over your life. Turn the spotlight of Psalm 139 on it and ask God to search your heart. Do you make godless choices and then wail about the consequences? Do you plant corn and get mad when green beans don’t grow? I do sometimes. Broken knees from years of gluttony. Broken trust in relationships because I was short tempered or too quick to speak. Lost opportunity because I was lazy. Little girls crying themselves to sleep at night because I made threats to leave their daddy. Yep…I am a loser. But I made a choice with unbelievable consequences over 40 years ago. I begged God to forgive me and to live in me. He never ever gives up on me. He has been changing me ever since. I often say hard things to myself now because I know the gospel truth:
My sins are washed away under the blood of a mighty Savior who will change me if I own it, admit it, and beg to be free. Seeds/reaping…it’s in the Bible.
Praying we sow seeds that bring glory to God dear church.