As a child growing up, my parents taught me from the following verses:
“Be sure your sin will find you out.”
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Through their teaching of these verses from God’s Word, it became evident that: 1) we can never hide from God – for He sees all of our deeds – whether good or bad, 2) there are consequences for all of our deeds, 3) we must take responsibility for all of our deeds.
While reflecting back on these verses, I was reminded how far our youth have grown apart from these simple, yet powerful teachings. As a youth, these verses brought about a “fear of God” – through a childlike reverence of knowing that God is always watching us. (But let it be understood that like all children, I often forgot this truth and suffered the consequences.) As a youth, I also came to understand what it means to be responsible for my actions, instead of blaming others.
As I have grown older, I have come to love the principles that reside behind these verses. First, God is with us wherever we go. What great comfort this provides to a child of God, resting in His watchful care. Second, as a loving Heavenly Father, He will guide us daily; but when we choose to disobey, He will also chasten us in order that we may repent and hunger for His fellowship to be restored.
Hebrews 12:6 states,
“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”
But when we confess our sins, He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 states,
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Third, it is true that there are consequences for all of our deeds. The Lord will reward us for our obedience; but through a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, He will give us the grace to bear the consequences for our deeds of disobedience.
Psalms 51:17 states,
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
Praise God for His loving care for His children!
Although I stated that I have seen our youth drift apart from these teachings, I must readily admit that they have probably done so through observing their parents and other adults. In the economic crisis we see today, as adults, we must admit that there has been much “sowing to the flesh”.
Galatians 6:8 states,
“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”
Consider for a moment how we as families and individuals have spent way beyond our means, most often without regard to saving any money for those “rainy days”. Recently I heard a story of a woman that had lost her job and their family was struggling trying to pay their two thousand dollar a month mortgage payment. The woman mused that they were considering just not making the payment and either living there for several months until they were evicted, or maybe waiting to see if the government would bail them out. To further exacerbate the problem, the woman was approached with two options for which she rejected: a) a job offer was made, but she really didn’t want that “particular” job, b) it was suggested that she cut back on some of the fanciful things she enjoyed, such as, getting her hair colored on a regular basis, getting pedicures / manicures, and other similar things that bloated their budget, yet, she also rejected this by stating, “I don’t want to be ‘house poor’.” This type of story has become all too familiar with husbands / wives / individual adults. Unfortunately, there are many today who choose not to take responsibility for their actions and especially the contracts they willingly sign. Is it any wonder that our youth are drifting apart from these teachings? Is it any wonder that parents and other adults are reaping what they have sown? Let us not fail to teach our children these most simple, but powerful truths – but let us do so through teaching them how to sow to the spirit instead of to the flesh.