Here in Georgia, we are well into spring. Flowers and trees are starting to bloom and yellow pollen is everywhere. Spring has always been my favorite season. There is so much beauty and expectation of growth. It is the time of year that makes me want to dig in the dirt and plant things. Unfortunately, I have proven that I don’t have a green thumb, so my budget for plants is restricted.
My children also get excited to plant things this time of year. I bought some seeds for them but we need to go buy the soil, since what we have around here in the ground is red clay, and the seeds need some softer soil mixed in.
With the kids home from school indefinitely, we’ve been given extra time to pour important truths into their hearts. One of the things we’ve been talking about with them is planting and sowing good seeds. But the seeds we’re teaching them about are not ones we plant in the ground. We are teaching them that whatever you plant in your words and behavior will grow. If you plant meanness, that’s what comes back to you. If you plant kindness, you are more likely to harvest kindness. Just as plants produce seeds of their own kind, so do actions and words and attitudes.
I remember very clearly a few years ago when I was first learning this concept myself. I knew it was in the Bible, but I thought sowing and reaping was only about sowing seeds of faith. But the Bible teaches about sowing and reaping in many different areas of life.
For example, Galatians 6:7-8 (ESV) says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
Anyway, when I was first considering this concept, I was battling with hurt and anger in a certain area of my life. My mind would just replay how I was feeling and different conversations in my head. But when I realized I was sowing something counter to the Spirit, I would catch myself, stop, and mentally dig that up and throw it out. I would try to plant kindness or love in place of what I just dug up. But it was a process that just kept repeating in my mind: Dig up bad seeds, plant good seeds, start thinking negative thoughts, stop, dig them up, repeat. I remember on one of these days, I was outside with my kids, pushing them on the swings. Finally, I was so done with the cycle starting over again, I realized I needed to replace those thoughts, so I invited my kids to sing a worship song with me. As we were singing and talking, we had a moment of discussion about salvation, and one of my kids decided they wanted to ask Jesus into their heart!
I realized, in that moment, if I had still been stuck in sowing into my hurt and anger, the special moment singing and talking with my kids wouldn’t have happened, and I would have missed the opportunity for my child to accept Jesus. Would there have been other opportunities? Probably, but there is no guarantee I would have been there or been the one to lead them to Jesus. What a precious gift for both of us to enjoy that day!
That experience really solidified for me the importance of sowing good things and digging up bad things that we plant. With this mindset, I can more clearly see how we all contribute to the atmosphere of our home and the world around us. Just because I know the importance of sowing good seeds doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes still plant bad seeds. But I feel like I am planting them far less often. And even though we are planting mostly good seeds now, we are still pulling up weeds and digging up things we planted years ago, not realizing what we were doing. Sometimes what we’ve planted isn’t reversible, but thankfully, God’s grace and mercy cover even those areas. But the more we dig up the bad and plant new good seeds, the more we see good things growing. It is so beautiful when we see our children imitate planting good seeds. We still have a long way to go, but I have great hope for the direction we are headed.
What about you? In what ways are you intentional about planting good seeds in your home, family, friends, and workplace? In what areas do you struggle? Is there a simple step you can take to remind yourself to plant good seeds?
I will say that just like planting regular seeds and pulling up weeds can be messy, hard work, so can planting these metaphorical seeds. Digging in the dirt of life and preparing the soil by removing rocks and weeds can mean getting your hands dirty and putting in effort. But the more effort you put in, the more results you will see.
Thankfully, this kind of planting doesn’t require a green thumb!