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Reaping what you sow

by Danny Mihailovic last modified Jan 22, 2016 01:09 PM
If we say we have a relationship with Christ and that we have the Holy Spirit, then the next step must follow: investing time into others with whom we share the common bond of Christian love.

Galatians 6:6–10

The previous article in this series was to do with being gracious.  The pastoral nature of grace is such that it helps to bear the burdens of others who have fallen into sin.  Remember the main thought: “To be spiritual is to be gracious and kind”.  Of course this is not always easy because by nature humans are egocentric, usually drawing most of life’s providences to one’s self, and this happens anywhere and in any organisation where there are communities of people working together for a common goal.  Hierarchies form by default.  Because of this, the apostle raises an important principle within the life of the church, and that is the relationship between teacher and student, or between the preacher and the congregation.  Both are to share in the good things of God, but more to the point, the one being taught is to include the teacher into the “fellowship of grace.”

Many theological and bible colleges teach their prospective ministers to not form close alliances with congregation members, to keep aloof so as not to show favouritism and thereby keeping an even distance from everyone.  The thinking is not to have many friends in the congregation so that an objective rather than subjective ministry can be exercised.  The scriptures would teach us otherwise.  Here Paul reveals the inestimable value of teacher and congregation forming close bonds and sharing in all good things.  This includes the hard times as well.  The reason being that ministers or any Christian in special work or not, are part of the Body of Christ.  A body cannot survive if it is dissected into many parts as all the parts are designed to work to one common end and that is to glorify the “Head”, in this case the Lord Jesus Christ.

This idea is linked to reaping what we sow.  Any farmer or gardener knows that sowing is an activity of expectation.  Plants are expected to grow from their seeds being sown.  The question is then, what do we expect to reap if we invest time into sharing our lives together?  It seems that sowing here inter-relates with sowing to the Holy Spirit.  In other words, relationship building and investing time in that building, is equivalent to sowing to the Spirit.  If we say we have a relationship with Christ and that we have the Holy Spirit, then the next step must follow:  investing time into others with whom we share the common bond of Christian love.

So what are we to reap from this, from doing good to the household of faith?  (Don’t forget, the previous verses have set the scene for us….being gracious to one another). This leads to prayer for one another, to hospitality, to easing anxieties that so plague our lives from day to day.  It is almost a healing balm that makes life bearable.  How blessed we have been to find others praying for us out of love and concern.  Sowing to the Spirit stops us from becoming isolated and fragmented.  What we sow in tears we will reap with joy.  Building relationships is not easy.  You will sow with tears much of the time, but you will also reap the joy of the Spirit as God makes His home with you.  Sow to the Holy Spirit and not to the corruptions of our egos.  Think on this: The church is the only organisation on earth that does not exist for itself.

(Our next article will conclude this brief overview of Galatians)