2 Corinthians 9:6. The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Greed is truly one of the deadliest sins. But who amongst us is actually greedy. Greed is everybody else’s problem, not ours. Anger? Sure. Lust? Yep. But greed? Those rich people are greedy, not me.
Simply put, to be greedy is to be a hoarder. It is to hold on to what you have. But Paul (and all of the rest of the Bible) encourages us to be givers. To share. To sow bountifully. Giving is meant to be an act of grace. But so often in our hearts giving is an act of law. A way to earn favor with God or keep him in our debt, or to keep him off our backs.
If we’re honest, I think we can all admit that we struggle to sow bountifully. Why? Because our wealth, like every other good thing, is alluring to us. We see it as that thing that can provide us with the security and status that we long for.
But when you are in Christ, his life alone becomes your security and your status. I am secure in Christ. I am important in Christ. “To live is Christ” means we share the greatest treasure in the universe – Jesus. He is our wealth. The seed of his life has been sown into us bountifully by his grace. I no longer have to give in order to feel good. I give because I already feel good in Christ.
The more you believe this, the more it will radically change how you live. In Christ there is no reason to hold on to anything God has freely given to you. Such hoarding only hurts you and the community you live in. The gifts of God are meant to be shared. This includes actual money, but also resources, ideas, and creativity. We are meant to share all of it. Even selling our products or services is a way to share. God is not telling us to literally give away everything we have, or everything we create, or that we have to do everything for free. To offer your gifts and talents in exchange for a fair price IS a form of sharing and sowing. To sit around being lazy, withholding your gifts and abilities, is a form of hoarding. To hold on to your spiritual knowledge, to avoid making disciples, is to sow sparingly.
Here is the truth of our union with Christ and the principle of sowing and reaping: if you sow bountifully you will reap bountifully. This includes your money, time, resources, creativity, ideas, knowledge, and grace. But here’s the catch. You have to do it from pure grace. As soon as you think “I’ll give so that I can get,” well, you just lost the battle. You just became another hoarder.
But when we live from grace in order to give our lives away, we will find a harvest of spiritual blessing. We will find joy in the sorrow. We will find life when we lose it. We will find treasure in lives changed. We will find that “to live is Christ” is to constantly share every part of our lives with others to the glory of God and the good of all.
Is greed a problem for you (if you instinctively answer “no” start over)? Does wealth tend to be your security or your significance?
You in Christ
How does your union with Christ make Christ and his cross the power for your sowing and reaping?
Christ in you
How can you share your life with others today? How can you share Christ’s life as you share your own life?
Playlist: Sowing and Reaping.
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