Don't Fear the Reaper
Galatians 6 tells us about the sowing and the reaping of life. The imagery of the sower and the harvester are powerful throughout the scriptures. The Apostle Paul writes in so many words not to judge and what we do in life we must take responsibility for and reap in eternity. A close friend of mine would say: if you make a mistake, be a man and own what you have done. We sow what we reap yearly, daily, even every second of every day and what we DO and DO NOT DO is either a great benefit or great ruin to our souls. Most believe pride to be a wicked thing, but, not all forms of pride are evil. Drinking alcohol in itself is not evil, but when done in excess it can cause you to do ignorant things. All things can be abused and when sin is applied to the task at hand, that is, when we find ourselves reaping dishonor for God.
Often people think that being spiritual and being religious are the same thing, however, I have found it certainly is not the same thing at all. Another friend of mine whom I had spoken to asked me if I knew the difference between religion and spirituality to which he explained what he had learned. He told me that being religious is to know what and where hell is — being spiritual is going into hell and coming back from it to tell others about it.
The same goes with our walk with Jesus, and as any Christian who knows the name of Christ can tell you who He is and what He has done — but, a true follower of Christ can tell you about the pain and suffering, the enduring of hardships and the extreme misery that comes with our walk with our Lord. What is entailed in following Christ is very, very hard some days and still when we can still express a great love for mankind — that is the true mark of a Christian follower. We often dismiss the fact that when we reap and sow it takes work. Working in the fields of our life is not an easy job — it is back breaking, sweat rolling down our bodies and calluses on our hands hard work.
St. Paul goes on to tell us that when we sow in the flesh, when we glory and work in our flesh, we reap corruption. We will fail, we will sin, we will most definitely fall — all of us do daily — but when we sow in the spirit, we will reap eternal life. As I said, sowing in any form is not an easy task, it is a very painstaking work, we need to keep to the path of righteousness even when it is easier to give in to temptation and commit to the sin.
I compare this to losing weight. I have been on a diet (I have been on many diets before) for over a year now. When I stick closely to what is prescribed in my diet, I am successful and lose weight — I see the results with my waistline getting smaller, my clothing getting looser and I see the minus on the scale. I am pleased when I am see those results — but, when I stall on my weight loss, I get discouraged and I being flirting with ideas of straying off my diet and eating things I should not be eating. What I reap I sow, right? When I fail and eat things I should not eat, I gain weight and it costs me days of weight loss. It takes three days for the weight to show up on the scale and it takes three days for it to come off — so, I have lost six days of sticking to the diet for one snack of straying off the diet path — I have lost a whole week of progress, because of a moment of weakness. I see the failure on the scale and if I would just be patient and just stick to what I know works, I would see the weight loss, I would see success. Even when I don’t see a minus on the scale while I stick to the diet, I see a minus on the measuring tape when I get my body measured. Progress happens when I am patient even when I don’t think I can see it on the scale.
Is it not the same in the Christian walk? Do we not turn to evil when we grow weary of doing good because it feels that the good we do is empty and fruitless? Do we not turn to what we know will hinder our path to the cross even though we know God is watching all that we do and we will reap what we sew?
St. Paul goes on to tell us we should not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we will reap holiness if we do not lose heart. If we keep the course and stay faithful, we will see blessing come into our lives. If we sin and do not repent we could be lost — we could be gathered up as the weeds of the field and tossed in the fire. We should not wait for threes day for sin to settle in — we need to run to the God who saved us and immediately seek His mercy and grace. The difference between our three days of seeing the weight come on and Christ’s three days is that after three days Jesus returned victorious forever more!
God knows we are weak and our burdens are heavy in this world. Our fleshly self falls to the lusts and temptations of the world — so He sent His only Son to lighten our load and take away the burden that Adam and Eve put on us the day he disobeyed God and settled in following the serpent's deception in the garden.
We sow what we reap. Either in the same day or in a year from now we will be held accountable for everything we say and do — our salvation is in our hands, we have the choice to reap goodness or wickedness and we have the choice to repent or let the weight of the world crush us.
I heard a great example from a preacher back in the 1960’s gave during one of his sermons. He said that we had the ultimate choice whether or not we were going to attain the prize of our salvation. He said that our lives ultimately were compared to Election Day, but our election day only consisted of three votes. God has one, Satan has one and the deciding vote is up to us.
We are to help each other as Christians, carry each other’s burdens with love. There is a lot of work to be done in this world to show the unbelieving masses the way to salvation. We, ourselves, cannot save anyone,— we, the true Christians, are suppose to be the guides or as Apostle Paul write the ambassadors' of Christ. On the other hand, the problem lies with the Christians, as sometimes we are the worst representatives of Christ and His Kingdom. We are called to love, yet we hate other people. We are to forgive, yet we hold the biggest grudges. We are called to promote self-control, yet some of us smoke, drink, swear, cheat, lie — the list goes on and on.
Of course, as I said, our flesh is weak. I have done those sins and more, and still, my loving Father in heaven looks favorably on me because my desire to be a better man and Christian shines outward to the best of my ability. I have sowed evil in my life and I have reaped the consequences of that sin — but, God is faithful even when we are faithless and doubting. God loves even when we have hatred in our souls for Him — His love never waivers and never ends. What do we Christians show the world that hates us when we fall prey to the same sins that exist in the world?
The difference is how we cope with the sins, for if we embrace the gift of salvation when we sin — we know that we will be forgiven. This does not give us the license to sin because for every sin we commit, Jesus paid for that sin the day of His crucifixion. I do not want to add to His pain, I want to add to His love. God knows that there is an enemy that waged war on His creation because of his jealousy of the Creator. Satan knew that his time is short, he knows that the fields are ready for harvest and that if he lures the faithful workers away, that when the time the field is ready to be harvested it will eventually be overgrown and vulnerable to fire and ruin.
We, Christians, are very few in numbers and as time moves forward, the number of our army grows smaller and smaller. Don’t be fooled — we live in Satan’s world — not God’s world. We, Christians, are to look toward the Promised Land and strive to attain our prize. We need to remember that we will reap in this life when we die — ready or not. The gift of salvation came with the consolation prize that we no longer had to fear the reaper.