“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson
To pay it forward is a beautiful, powerful concept. If we lived with this kind of mentality the world would be a much healthier and kinder place. Imagine a world where every person noticed the small gifts of goodness they receive each day, then out of an overflow of awareness and gratitude, sought to share it with others.
Like Louis Armstrong, we’d all be thinking to ourselves ‘What a wonderful world’…
The thing is, it starts with us. We can choose to pay it forward, to sow seeds into the kind of future we envision in our heart of hearts. Most of the stinking attitudes and actions I have are easily disrupted when I think about these simple verses from one of my favourite books in the bible;
‘Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. People reap what they sow. Those who sow to please their sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; those who sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.’- Galatians 6 v 7-8
SELAH (let’s pause and think about this for a while…).
These verses needn’t be threatening or intimidating in any way. God is on our side, He wants us to walk His paths, and He wants to guide us in the right way. He will help us to do this step by step and day by day. This is not so much a reprimand, but an opportunity to be seized with both ‘spiritual’ hands.
I love these verses, because I know that if I live according to these few words my life will be drastically different. I know that my relationship with God would flourish and my witness for Him improve significantly. I realise that this is in fact the best way to live. Sowing to the Spirit. Paying the goodness, mercy and forgiveness of God forward into the lives of those around me.
Sowing to the Spirit is not about living as a hermit in the mountains; fasting all day every day and reading nothing but the scriptures for food. It is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. It is doing what is right in God’s eyes more often than not, being a peace maker and spreading His joy wherever we go.
Paying it forward brings wisdom into our relationships. Rather than responding to hurt and misunderstanding with self-righteous anger and self–pity, we could ask ourselves how we would want to be treated if we had been the one to hurt or misunderstand another.
The same goes for evangelism, how would we want to be approached with the Gospel message?
And friendships, what kind of friend would we want in our lives? It’s amazing how we can change our words, our attitudes and our self-destructive patterns of behaviour when we realise we are paying it forward into our own future.
‘Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’– Luke 6 v 38