How many of you have had this happen? A friend or perhaps someone we do not even know that well, offers us that “Can’t miss deal, that sure thing.” All you have to do is invest. But one thing I imagine has never happened is someone offering you, “Hey, for every dollar you invest, you will only get that one dollar back.” I struggle to imagine anyone would ever jump at that opportunity. It would be a serious waste of time. Now imagine if this was true for farming. If you planted one tomato plant and all it produced was one tomato, or you planted a kernel of corn and a plant popped up with one kernel of corn on it, no one would ever farm. The Bible clearly states that we reap what we sow, but life also teaches us that we reap more than we sow.
Truthfully, the fact that we reap more than we sow is a testament of God’s goodness to us, but it also serves as a serious warning. If every decision can potentially affect those around us, we should be very careful with our decisions no matter how big or small.
Negative Truth - Little compromises can lead to great disasters.
Our speech is one of the greatest areas where we have all encountered the truth of this principle. During World War II the United States Office of War Information produced posters with this phrase on them, “Loose lips might sink ships.” It carried with it the challenge for service men and citizens to keep information to themselves that might be of use to the enemy. I like the British equivalent even more, as their slogan stated, “Careless talk costs lives.” This would be a great truth for many people to consider today. James 3:5 says, “Even so, the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth.”
Many a reputation has been destroyed because some tiny tidbit of private information was shared with others publicly. Even though they were asked not to tell anyone, what harm could come from telling just one person? We all know the fire of gossip rarely stops with just one individual. In fact, it typically spreads like a wildfire burning everyone who gets near it. That little compromise to share a truth given in confidence can wield devastating consequences. The gossiper loses their trustworthiness and the subject of the gossip loses their reputation.
We also consider this truth when it comes to moral matters. Many a person has decided that it would be acceptable to try alcohol, smoking, or drugs with no thought of what could happen to their bodies or that they could become addicted. Over the years, I have counseled with many people who were struggling with various addictions and the one thing I never heard any of them say was that they intended to become an addict. No, most never even considered the possibility. It was seemingly amazing to them how one little decision could lead them down such a dark path. They simply never imagined the harm a little compromise could bring.
Positive Truth: Little is much when God is in it.
Yes, I did borrow the title here from hymn writer Kittie Louise Suffield. The premise behind this song is the helpful hope of this Law of the Harvest. We consider events in Scripture like the feeding of the 5,000 in Matthew 14:13-21. The challenge in this passage was born out of Jesus’ compassion on the multitude which was following Him. He wanted them to be fed, so He instructed that they be given food. The disciples saw their finances were limited and so was their food.
The only real means they had to feed the crowd was a young boy’s lunch, which he offered. Unfortunately, this small sacrifice was miniscule compared to the massive need. No one there, except Jesus, knew how this was going to turn out.
We learn several lessons from this passage. First, God never asks us to do the ridiculous. It might have seemed preposterous to the disciples to make them sit down and eat, but that was God’s plan.
This brings us to our second lesson, God does not require great numbers (be it money, talents, or time) to do great acts. He simply requires complete surrender. The disciples were part of a great miracle because they did what God instructed. Also note that God uses those things in life which are dedicated by the faithful to do His work.
Take into consideration the young man who surrendered his lunch, perhaps imagining that he would never see it again. Ironically, the Roman soldiers of the area would probably not have thought much about taking a young boy’s lunch from him, but this young man simply gave what he had to the Master. Isn’t that what God desires of all His children? Our problem is we tend to evaluate our situation before we surrender.
We wrongly imagine that God only wants the great, the grand, or the glorious in order to accomplish His purposes. Surely He desires the smartest, bravest, wealthiest, biggest, and best to do His will on the Earth. A funny realization sets in when we study Scripture and see how many times God refuses the esteemed and instead chooses the rejected, humble, small, and overlooked.
Mrs. Suffield had it right when she wrote little is much when God is in it. The truth is even though we may see something as small when God puts His hand upon it and blesses it, more will be accomplished than we can ever imagine. Thus, this law shows us that reaping more than we sow does happen, and it can be positive or negative. It truly depends on what is sown.