I love spring time even though we are not quite there yet, we are getting closer every day! The jonquils are blooming in Georgia and that means spring is very near. This morning I read a passage about planting and harvesting a different kind of crop. It was a lesson that I had heard many times, but I was challenged to plan further out each time. Paul uses the analogy of a farmer planting seeds to teach about giving. Check this out….
6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need, and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say,
“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-9 NLT)
I realized that for a farmer to have a good crop later this year, he must plan now. He must organize and measure the fields, prepare the soil, get the seeds ready to be planted at just the right time. In all of this, the farmer taking a risk with his time and resources. His crop is then at the mercy of sunshine and rain in appropriate doses. He can’t control either of those. The farmer decided to plant and is certainly hopeful for a harvest. If the same farmer never organized, prepared the fields or planted, he would be an idiot to expect a harvest. This is an ancient axiom – “You reap what you sow” (Galatians 6:7-10 NLT -The Apostle Paul).
Paul is talking about a different kind of harvest. He is talking about a harvest that I may never get to take part in. I’m planting seeds of giving that will bless someone else so that they will turn their thankful hearts to God. I believe giving should be done with anonymity as much as possible. I believe that people who give to be noticed have received their reward -notice by others. On the other hand, people who give because they are called by God will be noticed by Him and rewarded by Him quite differently.
Giving is a way of “paying it forward”. Giving is blessing others with no concern over reciprocation. Giving with a thankful heart, produces eternal blessing. Giving with a self-centered, “look at me”, produces temporary blessing. I call that “giving with strings attached”. I want to grow in my giving and generosity, not so that others know and will be impressed. I want to give from a generous heart for the Lord, because I know Him, and He can use people like me to bless others that I don’t even know. That is a different kind of planting and a different kind of harvest. This type of giving is incredibly different than some of the giving I’ve done in the past. I need to keep my eyes on the eternal effects of my “seed sowing” type of giving.