My cousin is a lay preacher. Over the years, there has been one subject that he has preached upon more than any other: “You Reap what you Sow” Of course, he uses plants and vegetables as illustrations of how a person cannot sow, for instance, onions and expect to reap apples; but he is also fond of calling up the story of David and Bathsheba. As those who are familiar with the Bible know, David lusted after Bathsheba when he saw her bathing. When he gave into his lust, Bathsheba became pregnant. David then sent her husband to a certain death in battle in order to prevent him from learning of the sin. Although David later repented of his sin, for the rest of his life he endured many hardships. I don’t know whether all preachers interpret it in the same way, but my cousin sees this as a clear illustration of David reaping the bitter fruits of what he had sown.
I don’t know about David, but I do know about myself and I know that I have paid dearly for sins for which I long ago repented. There is a clear delineation between the time of my morality and the moment of my fall from the grace of God. Although I know God has forgiven me, there are all kinds of ramifications of sin that forgiveness cannot repair. I would prefer not to use my own situation to explain, so I will use a different story so that you can get the idea.
Consider a person who works at a grocery store and gives in to the temptation to steal from the cash register. He is of course sowing a lot of trouble. When he gets caught, he only begins to reap the bitter fruit. When he repents, God rejoices; but the deed is still there in this person’s human history. When he tries to get a job, he cannot acquire a position of trust because he violated trust in the past. When someone gives him a chance of employment and he works without incident for many years, there may still be a time when some little thing is lost or mislaid and someone remembers that he was once a thief and they begin to suspect him of stealing again. When he has children, they may someday learn of his misdeed. His mother, his wife, and all his other relatives will always worry that he will stumble once again.
So we do reap what we sow and we may yield a bumper crop of sorrow. So watch yourself. Don’t sow wild oats. Sow faith, constancy, goodwill and generosity. You will then receive sweet fruits you can savor.
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