There is a poem that is based on the Biblical injunction “we reap what we sow” that is very important for us as individuals and a community. It runs:
“if we sow a thought we reap an act
if we sow an act we reap a habit
if we sow a habit we reap a character
if we sow a character we reap a destiny.”
The principle of sowing and reaping is built into every aspect of human endeavour. A farmer sows wheat and reaps wheat not sorghum. The better quality the wheat seed the better the crop. However if he doesn’t sow he will not reap.
If a student works consistently throughout the term she will see improvement and the more so if her teachers have taught her right information.
Where a community feeds off violence and falsehood it can only expect, over time, to reap violence, a culture of deception and breakdown of trust in the family, workplace and community.
But it works the other way as well. Where truth is valued, modelled and pursued in the home, schools, marriages and community life we will reap the consequences in richer trust and committment.
Consequences, for good or ill, are rarely thought through. TV programs glamourise sexual infidelity, coarse jokes and deception in real life. On the other hand good is often written off as quaint and boring – the Brady bunch for example, is often ridiculed.
It has been remarked that in real life what is good, honest and honourable is always experienced as wholesome whereas in entertainment fictional good is portrayed and seen to be boring.
The Biblical injunction goes on to say that “if we sow to please ourselves we will reap destruction whereas if we sow to please the Spirit of God we will reap eternal life.”
In other words there are two ways to live. The way that takes God fully into account will have consequences that enrich our life and the lives of others (not now only but for eternity). The converse is true when we live for ourselves.
Almost every community problem we have comes back to how we live individually. Our folly is seen when we expect others, whether the government or teachers, to fix it.
The good news of the Christian gospel is that God will always honour and help the individual who decides to stop sowing to please itself and to begin sowing that which honours and pleases Him.