What Are You REALLY Sowing? - Giving, Part 3

Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.
— Luke 6:37-38 (NKJV)

Giving Is About More Than Money

Money is a big thing, but it’s not everything. Even on a purely physical level, when we think of giving it should go beyond the dollars in our pockets.

We can give our time and our attention. We can give many other resources like tools, coats, blankets, or food. We can give rides to church, a listening ear, a compassionate hug.

Not only are there many physical actions and items we can sow, but there are also spiritual ones, like Jesus mentioned in Luke 6 (for example, condemnation or forgiveness).

Physical Seeds and Spiritual Seeds

Have you ever received a compliment, but you could sense there was something else behind it? Maybe they were flattering you and weren't sincere. Maybe you sensed that they looked down on you and were dispensing compliments as if from a superior to an inferior. Maybe you had a feeling that they were buttering you up because they wanted something from you.

What about this: Have you ever seen somebody who always volunteered, was at every event and part of every clean-up crew, but there was something about them that didn't add up? They were there, but they were never happy about being there. Or perhaps they were always trying to control the situation.

Every time we sow a seed, there is a spiritual aspect to it related to the intention of our hearts. Lets say I volunteer time at the soup kitchen, but in my heart I condemn the people I see there, judging them based on appearance and whether I think they qualify for charity. If I do that, I am sowing my time towards those in need, but I am also sowing condemnation. So when it comes time for harvest, that’s what I’ll get back.

The spiritual side of sowing is often overlooked, because it’s invisible and there’s a time lapse between when you sow and when you reap.

Hidden Seeds Revealed

What spiritual seeds are paired with the physical ones we sow? Here are two short lists to jog our imagination.

Negative seed:

  • Judgment
  • Condemnation
  • Resentment
  • Bitterness
  • Selfishness
  • Fear
  • Unbelief

Positive seed:

  • Forgiveness
  • Grace
  • Hope
  • Generosity
  • Cheerfulness
  • Patience
  • Faith
  • Love

See how this works? It’s possible to administer discipline and correction in love. It’s also possible to help someone begrudgingly while harboring resentment. You can give money to the church and do it in fear. And you can bow out of a troubled relationship with faith.

And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
— 1 Corinthians 13:3 (NASB)

TAKING IT TO HEART: Think about the good things you do. Are you doing them with an inner attitude of love, joy and faith?

Now think about areas your life seems full of negativity. Is there a connection to negative seed you’ve sown in the past?

CHALLENGE: The next time you sow a seed (a word, an action, or a physical object), be intentional about sowing spiritual seed along with it.

Volunteer, and do it cheerfully. Write a card to someone you don’t get along with, to sow hope and grace. Share your stories in the comments below!

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
— Galatians 6:7-9 (NKJV)