Sow Generously to Reap Generously
“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8, NIV)
When it comes to your giving, there are two principles you need to remember, and they’re based on 2 Corinthians 9:6-8: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (NIV).
The first is the principle of harvest: What you sow, you’re going to reap—for good or for bad. In other words, you’ll harvest whatever you plant. That’s true about money, but it’s true about everything else, too.
If you sow criticism, people will criticize you. If you sow gossip, guess what? Others will gossip about you. If you plant resentment, people will resent you.
What do you need more of? Whatever it is, give it away, and you’ll get more back. Do you need more energy? Then you have to spend energy through exercise. Do you need more affirmation in your life? Give it away by affirming other people.
If you take a kernel of corn and plant it in the ground, do you get one kernel back? No! I’ve actually planted corn in my yard before. When you plant one kernel in the ground, you don’t get one kernel back. You get a stalk with a bunch of ears and thousands of kernels. When you plant an avocado pit, it grows a tree. Do you get one avocado back? No. You get hundreds back. You always get back more than you put in.
The second principle is that there’s always a delay between planting and harvest. When you plant a seed in the ground, you don’t get an ear of corn the next day. You plant in one season, and you harvest in another.
The same is true in giving. You give to other people. You give to God. You give your life away—but you don’t reap the results the next day. There is a season of waiting before God gives you the harvest. Why? Because God is testing your faith to see if you’ll trust him while there’s a delay between planting and harvesting.
While you’re planting and waiting, you can trust God will provide grace so that “having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
Remember these two principles: First, you reap what you sow; second, you plant in one season but have to wait and harvest in another. Learn these principles and apply them to your life—and you will have so much joy in giving!
Talk It Over
How are you sowing generously? In what areas are you sowing sparingly?
What keeps you from trusting God when he delays your harvest?
What can you do while you’re waiting on results from your giving?
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This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.