this is post #2 in a series
Sowing and reaping… how does it apply to a family economics model?
As I’ve spent time thinking about family economics, I’ve found a strange conflict banging around in my head.
On one side is the home-spun wisdom that I’ve heard all my life. You could say it as…
If it’s going to be, it’s up to me!
The idea is that I can do it… whatever it is – given enough hard work, good thinking, and diligence.
But on the other side is the fact that I’m a Christian and believe in an absolutely sovereign God who has a plan for my life. So that could be said as…
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.- Proverbs 16:9
The idea here is that I’m a creature under the care and direction of the Creator… and His way always trumps mine.
And here’s the tension – which way am I supposed to think about building a family business?
If I think only along the lines of the first perspective (I can do it), I may find myself working independently of God. And I’ve been there enough to know, that’s not the place you want to be!
In fact, that independent spirit that comes so easily to Americans like me, is what was at the heart of the very first sin.
Didn’t Eve, and then her husband right behind her, make the first “Declaration of Independence” (from God)?
I don’t want to be there. Not at all.
So how should I think about it?
If I think only along the lines of the second perspective (God is sovereign), I could spend my days aimlessly, just waiting for God to do what He’s going to do.
I may not take much initiative, see myself as very capable, or doubt that my efforts really amount to very much in the end.
In a good-intentioned desire to honor God as sovereign, I think I’ve lived a lot of my life so far with this attitude subtly eating away at my sense of initiative.
Sowing and reaping – a principle of our sovereign God
The place I’ve wound up in recent months is this…
God, who IS sovereign over all, has taught us that one of the means by which He carries out His sovereign rule is through us sowing (2 Corinthians 9:6, Galatians 6:7).
What does that mean for us?
It means that we are responsible to sow… to plant… to take initiative in the things that we prayerfully deem are His desire for us.
We are to take initiative. but to do so under His sovereignty.
And He promises a reward… we will reap.
I’ve found it difficult to keep myself from assuming what that reaping will look like.
It’s easy and natural to think that what we are working toward is exactly what we will gain in the end.
But it’s not always so, because God is sovereign.
He has the ability and the right to circumvent our best efforts any time He desires.
And our roles as His servants is to submit to such intervention gladly – knowing that He is not only sovereign, but working together for our good (Romans 8:28).
So in the end, I’ve learned that the two ideas I thought were at odds, actually work together quite nicely.
I sow (work hard) and I trust in God’s sovereignty for the results.