In Matthew 13, Jesus teaches us about the Kingdom Principle of seed time and harvest. "The Kingdom of God is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tare (weeds) among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the tare also appeared. The owners servants asked, "Sir didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from? Any enemy did this he replied."
Have you ever heard your mom say "you reap what you sow"? Well if you have lived long enough, you know she is right!
It's a Kingdom principle. What you sow into people or situations is what you should expect to get the return on. If I plant apple seeds, I should not expect peach trees as my crop.
Seed time and harvest work two ways; first, what you sow into other people and situations and, second, what you allow to be sown into you. Example, if I expect my children to be respectful and peaceful, then I must first show myself peaceful and respectful (seed) to see that fruit in my home. Seeds are your actions, speech and, in my case, disposition. Holding my tongue isn't always the trouble; it's my face that needs control!
The fruit that you bear and the seed that you plant into others are direct reflections and byproduct of what is being planted in you.
That's why it's important to be particular about what and whom you watch and listen to and environments you put yourself in. Those things will influence and affect your speech, behavior and thinking (seed).
Don't believe me? Have you ever listened to a song or watched a program and later catch yourself repeating phrases from it? Or one of your children says something that you know has come out of your mouth? I'll never forget the first time I said to my kids "because I said so." I thought, my God, I'm turning into my mother!
Be mindful about what and whom you're exposing yourself to. Just like the saying "You can't out work a bad diet" is true for your body, the same is true for your spirit. The enemy will plant weeds among your wheat. A weed's sole purpose is to stifle growth, choke out and be a distraction to you. Weeds are destructive. If you have areas of discontent, strife, fear or distraction in your life, then pray and ask God to reveal to you the cause. Some seeds are planted by us and some by the enemy. It's vital that you have discernment to know the difference.
The scripture picks up here and states, "The servants asked him, Do you want us to go and pull them up? (tare) 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let them both grow together until harvest.'"
Every time God has shown me "tare" in my life, there was a directive on how to deal with it. In some instances, he wanted me to carve it out immediately, as was the case in an under-performing employee. Yet others, like the scripture, I was told to wait.
My son befriended a young man who had a challenging home life and whose parents were addicts.
The pair started spending a great deal of time in my home as an escape from the boy's situation and, in my hope, an example of a different lifestyle. There came a point when I realized my son was picking up the boy's bad habits and not the reverse. Sometimes you intend to help change a bad situation, but you have to be careful that the situation doesn't start changing you.
My first instinct was to do something. To forbid and cut all contact between them in an attempt to "carve out" the bad influence on my son. God stopped me and said "Wait." I didn't understand this directive and couldn't understand why.
In my reasoning it was allowing more time for the influence to get a stronger hold. God reminded me of this while I was studying this passage. He showed me that He allowed the influence to co-exist with him for a season and for a purpose.
You can do the right thing at the wrong time and create unilateral damage.
God showed me that if I would have been disobedient in the timing and carved the kid out when I wanted to, I would have lost my son (the wheat).
He wasn't mature enough to understand what was happening. God had to reveal to him that the friendship needed to end, not me.
Likewise if God has directed you to end something immediately and you waver or wait, you can create unilateral damage.
Have you ever known in your gut that you needed to leave a job or make a move and you second guessed yourself or talked yourself out of it? There is power in timing. If God has given you a directive, then he has anointed the timing. You can do the right thing at the wrong time.
Maria Reynolds, a Wayne County resident, is founder of Curator Ministries and an ordained minister with Expression Church in Huntington.