Matthew 7:12 12So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets.
This verse is not long, but we could probably talk about it for days! We have all heard the “Golden Rule”- Do unto others as we would want them to do unto us, but do we really walk it out? How often do we know how we would like to be treated in a particular situation, but our actions don’t reflect that? Probably more than we care to remember. This goes along with the scripture in Galatians 6:7….. For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap. If we treat others with kindness, respect and love (sowing into their lives) we will reap those same things back. There may have been times in your life when you did treat someone great, who didn’t return the favor. That’s okay, because you will reap what you sow even if it’s not immediate. When a farmer goes out to plant a crop, let’s say corn. There is a whole process that happens. First he prepares the ground, then he plants the seed, he waters it, pulls up a few weeds that try to mess it up, and finally one day he sees a plant sticking out of the ground. But it’s not time to reap. The plant grows to it’s greatest height and starts to sprout out an ear of corn, but it’s still not harvest time. However, the day does come when it’s time to reap what the farmer sowed.
What would happen if after a few days the farmer went out to his field and didn’t see anything? Would he wonder what had gone wrong? What if he went out a few weeks later and still didn’t see his harvest? Would he get angry that the corn hadn’t yet produced? Of course not! He understands that he isn’t going to see an immediate harvest on his seed. It sounds silly, but how often do we do that? We sow the seeds of kindness into someone’s life, but don’t get an instantaneous return so we get frustrated or angry and think it’s not going to work. Just like the farmer we need to understand that if we don’t give up, but continue to sow those seeds of love, eventually we will reap.
We have a wonderful couple that heads up our community outreach department at our church. They have such a heart to reach people, especially children. They started up a sidewalk Sunday school program in a neighborhood that wasn’t particularly receptive to them at the beginning. Not only would they do the program with the children, but they also would stop by the neighborhood on other days, talking to the families, praying with those that asked, weeding the flower beds, picking up trash and basically just treating people like they would like to be treated. After a few months, not only were the kids excited to see them, the parents of the kids were excited to see them. Their harvest didn’t come the first day just because they reached out, but after a period of time where they were consistently showing love.
If you haven’t been acting toward people the best way, now is the time to start. Just ask yourself how you would want to be treated and show that same courtesy to others. If you are waiting to receive a harvest on the good seeds you’ve sown, just don’t faint. Be consistent and you will see a return.