Our verse for today comes from 2 Corinthians 9:6, ” But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. “
I wonder if any of us can read that verse and not think about money. Even though Paul uses agrarian terminology, much like our Lord did so often, we immediately think about our money and how much and how often we give. And being familiar with the passage in scripture, this makes sense. For Paul is certainly writing about how we choose to use our resources to be a blessing to others. And isn’t it just like God for His Word to incorporate indefinite, relative terminology to guide us? Where can you go and get the exact measurement for sparingly or bountifully? How does that weigh out in pounds or dollars or hours? But that’s just what we want to do, isn’t it? We hear direction from God, and the first thing our mind does is try and determine what is the correct amount. From the earliest days of our life, we learn to focus on doing enough to get the right grade, or avoid a certain result, or to get the girl. Around church, you might hear someone describe it as legalism. Oh, it’s not about what is legal or illegal. It’s more about doing something, or enough of something, so that you expect certain results to occur.
It’s like the laws of physics or math. They aren’t about what’s illegal. They just tell us what will always happen whenever something else happens. Let go of your glass and it will fall to the floor. Add two oranges to the three you already have, and you will have five. But God likes to operate slightly differently. Sure, He designed nature and the laws that govern it. And His first law was that when you disobey Him, you die. But He further blessed us by giving us grace. Knowing that we would try to make a list and check it twice, but fail miserably at keeping it, He gave us what we could not earn. So now we don’t have to worry about how much is enough. If we sow sparingly, we should only ask ourselves ” why? ” , not ” how much more? ” That’s where grace operates, down deep in your heart where we place value on things. So think about the reason before you think about the amount. I have a feeling one will take care of the other.
As we seek Him today, look at what you do sparingly and what you do bountifully. Examine whether you are doing things in the right proportion, and for the right reasons.