Life is about sowing and reaping. When you sow you will more often than not be guaranteed a harvest. The concept is simple, the action is easy and the harvest is not always such a walk in the park. What do we generally sow with reckless abandon and flair? Judgement and criticism, our most generous ingredient to flavour up some dull conversations…
We reap what we sow, this you know- rhyme unintended ;). The only time this harvest does not grow is when we realise that what we have planted into fertile soil is not good and we consciously go and unearth those seeds. Judgement and criticism is not ours to wield and despite this we (yes, me included) fling those seeds left, right, up and down without any regard for where they may land and what the consequences may be, whatever harvest may grow from it.
Sometimes it does take a strong dose of the ingredient thrown one’s way for one to realise that it should be avoided. For the last couple of months I have been incredibly aware of my propensity to judge and deem someone unworthy according to my self-proclaimed criteria. I am not qualified as judge or jury over anyone’s life, I can barely figure my own out. So who am I to wield the said stamp?
The frustrating part of the decision is that I know I will at times, without thinking grab up those seeds and sow then carelessly and maybe type up a label or two in a flash of anger or disapproval BUT if I can continue to reflect and make these behaviours part of my conscious awareness then I know I can get to a place where I choose not to fall into the law and disorder trap. Ultimately it is a choice – Jesus clearly tells us not to fall into the trap of judgement – which means we have the ability to stop doing it. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Jesus in Matthew 7:1-3
It hurts when others judge you and it normally is completely out of context so why do we return the unwanted, painful favour? What is it in us that drives this behaviour? Could it be… insecurity, under confidence, the need to feel superior, the need to be okay and more okay than someone else, the assumption that we know better than anyone else and that we have the final say on what goes and what doesn’t? Or all of the above?
The only way you can truly understand your behaviour is to reflect on it and to be completely honest with yourself. I have been turning this woman that is me inside out for the last 7 years or so and I am still nowhere near done (and I know it will be a continuous work in progress). I can say that being honest with yourself is tough – but on the plus side you sow good seed when you face your fears and your flaws. You start reaping victory and inner peace and what can be more rewarding than that?
Yes, I have been very guilty of many things I wish I could say I haven’t been: FACT I am flawed, FACT I have the choice to choose to fix it, FACT I will see growth and good harvest – FACT FULL STOP, PERIOD.
It is really about asking yourself about what harvest you want to reap at the end of each season in your life… you could have some good seed sown among the briers and weeds and frankly, that won’t be much return for your investment. You need to unearth the weeds and the only way to do it is to identify them, and then, like it or not, get your hands dirty by pulling them out – one vexatious weed at a time. When I started my weeding chore I really struggled, no sooner had I plucked one than another one would begin growing in the same place. That was when I realised I couldn’t do this with pride in my heart and I couldn’t do it without the grace of God. I had to accept the good with the not so good but ultimately I had to accept God’s grace over my life and past behaviour.
We need to see God’s grace first and then allow it over our lives, His grace covers all our sins and all flaws. His love roots out a thousand dirty, cantankerous weeds that come to strangle and destroy the victories in our lives.
It now begs the question, how DOES my garden grow?
By grace and with much introspection, repentance and relief. I am by no means the perfect gardener but I am willing to get my hands dirty to watch a victorious harvest grow.
How is your garden doing and what harvest do you forsee? What seed do you want to sow?