What Sowing and Reaping Really Means

How do you feel about this statement? “Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns.”

Perhaps you find it to be true. You find that when you do what is right and good that people are kind to you in return.

Or, perhaps you feel that you’re constantly doing the right thing only to get criticism and rejection in return.

It seems that most people experience a little of both.

What is Sowing and Reaping?

Have you ever heard the phrase: You reap what you sow? If you think of it in terms of agriculture it certainly is true. You plant (or sow) pineapples and you get (or reap) pineapples. Meanwhile, you can’t sow crabgrass and expect to reap pineapples.

The same principles apply in life:

  • You cannot sow gossip and expect to reap truth.
  • You cannot sow control over others and expect to reap freedom.
  • You cannot sow hatred and expect to reap love.

Just as a farmer pushes seed into the soil, we push seeds (thoughts and words) into the hearts and minds of those we have relationships with.

Here are three truths about sowing and reaping:

  1. You reap what you sow: The farmer sows apples and he reaps apples. You sow kindness and people are kind to you.
  2. You reap more than you sow: The farmer sows an appleseed and he reaps bushels of apples. You sow a little kindness and you receive an abundance of kindness in return.
  3. You reap later than you sow: The farmer sows in the spring but he does not reap until the fall. You sow kindness now but you may not receive kindness until a later time.

The Power of Your Words

Consider this: every time you speak an unkind word to someone, you are pushing a seed of discouragement into their heart. On the other hand, every time you speak a loving word to someone, you are pushing a seed of encouragement into their heart.

One of the most powerful ways you sow into someone else’s life is through words. Your words can carry the potential for good or the potential for harm. It is commonly said that, “Stick and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Nothing is further from the truth.

You may be thinking that the person who sows pain through their words never seems to reap the same pain back. It seems that hard-hearted people are resistant to pain and insensitive people are too clueless to feel hurt by anyone. That is simply a façade they want you to believe.

Everyone feels pain when they are hurt. Your challenge is this: do not return evil for evil but instead sow forgiveness and kindness so that instead of reaping bitterness, you will reap a peaceful heart. The person who speaks evil will reap misery, whether you see it or not.

You decide what you want to reap, and then sow that into the other person whether they deserve it or not. Now here’s a saying that is true: “Your words create worlds.”

What You Can Expect from Reaping

Sometimes people are incapable of doing for you what you have done for them, but blessings come your way differently.

Here are some examples of how you reap what you are sowing:

  • You care for your severely disabled child day in and day out. Your child may not be able to say, “Thank you” or “I love you,” but you can see love in her eyes or in his smile.
  • You faithfully visit your mother who has Alzheimer’s disease. She cannot remember your name but she often repeats a funny story about when you were a child, and you can tell how much she loves you.
  • You help someone who is struggling financially, knowing that he cannot pay you back. Then, when you are in need, you are surprised to find someone cheerfully helping you.

Sadly, there are times when a person is capable of returning kindness for kindness, but they make a conscious decision not to. This can be very painful. For example:

  • Rather than thanking you for helping them, your parents criticize your efforts.
  • Rather than giving you the raise you deserve, your boss demands more work from you because you excel in your job.
  • Rather than giving you a break from the kids after you’ve been home with them all day, your spouse goes out on the town after work.

It is at times like these that your character is tested.  You have a choice to make. Either you sow kindness and reap goodness, or you sow unkindness and reap harm. Sowing is an investment for good or harm. You will reap in due time. Everyone does.

Check Your Thoughts When Sowing and Reaping

You can easily find yourself disappointed when you feel cheated out of what you deserve. Consider these thoughts:

  • I sowed, but I didn’t reap – I’m doing all this hard work, but I’m not gaining anything from it.
  • I sowed, but others are reaping – Everyone else gets to do what they enjoy doing, but I have to do what needs to be done. They get to enjoy the benefits of the work I’ve already done, but I just get more work to do.
  • I sowed, but I’ll never reap – It will always be this way for me. I’ll never be able to tell you what I want to do, let alone get to do it.

You may be going above and beyond the call of duty right now, but don’t lose hope. There’s something we have not yet talked about and that’s the role God plays in all of this.

How to Sow & Reap Blessings

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