We reap what we sow. It is a simple and yet profound principle. When Paul writes to the Corinthians he is speaking specifically about financial giving. If we give bountifully, then we will reap bountifully. Although Paul applies the “reap and sow” principle to giving, the same principle can be extended to relationships. We should sow generously into others so we can reap generously from others. You get out what you put in.
The church is a family; a family full of diverse and rich relationships. God calls people from all different sectors of life to join this family. We have to be zealous for the family to which God has called us. If we are going to be a healthy and loving family then we must sow generously in our relationships. See how this principle works in our own families. If we sow time and attention to our relationship with our spouse, we reap a healthy and happy marriage. If we sow energy and love into our children, we reap a healthy and loving relationship with our kids. Now imagine how different our church would feel, if we made it a priority to sow into our brothers and sisters with time and encouragement. If we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully.
The principle is simple to understand, but often hard to implement. It is hard to implement because we are sinners. Paul writes to the church at Philippi, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others (Phil. 2:4).” This attitude is clearly seen in our Lord Jesus who did not look to his own interests but the interest of a lost and dying world. His sowed generously in his life, therefore he reaped generously in that God, “has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name (Phil.2:9).”
So how can you sow generously into others’ lives in the church? Here are a few ways:
· Sunday School – a great place to grow closer to each other and in the Lord. It does require a little additional time on Sunday morning, but will reap a stronger connection to others in the church. Just think how well you will know someone after spending 48-52 hours with them over the course of the year.
· Serving – a great way to build friendships is through serving. Whether it is through the volunteering in the nursery, writing a letter to a shut-in or taking someone dinner, sow into others in service.
· Presence- a simple way to build relationships with people is just to be available. Get to church early and don’t be in a rush to leave after the service. Take an extra 10 minutes to have a conversation with someone you may not know.
Beloved, there are many ways to sow relationally within the church. How we invest in others may look different from one another, but we must implement the “reap what you sow” principle in our relationships. If we want to continue to grow as a church family then we must remember that the church that sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.