“You reap what you sow” is a well-known idiom, but this principle is also Biblical.
God said to Moses, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19.
Life is full of choices. It is written in Proverbs to “ponder the path of your feet, and … remove your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:26-27. We need to think about our choices and what the consequences of our choices are. They can lead to corruption, or to eternal life.
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to thewill of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.“ Galatians 6:7-8.
You choose in the time of temptation
Everything in life goes exactly according to what is written in God’s Word. There are no exceptions. This is a law of life that affects everyone, whether a believer or a non-believer. You will reap what you sow. All corruption that is in the world comes from lusts. (2 Peter 1:4) James asks, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?”James 4:1.
All sin begins in the thought life. When a temptation comes up as a thought, if I agree with it, it gives birth to sin: and when sin is full grown (practiced) it brings forth death. (James 1:14-15) This death is reaping the wages of sin; a spiritual death, where one’s conscience becomes hardened and one cannot discern between good and evil. One lives in sin.
It’s written about the passing pleasures of sin which Moses rejected. What people don’t reckon with is that after the pleasure of sin passes the reaping of corruption will follow. It’s reaped in marital difficulties and divorce. It’s reaped with financial difficulties. It’s reaped in the thought life with images of past sinful behavior. One can be tormented with thoughts of regret, anxiety, suspicion, unthankfulness, bitterness, discontent and all sorts of bad memories. But Jesus can set us free from all of this and make us free indeed! (John 8:34-36)
“You reap what you sow” holds true both positively and negatively. “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:8). This verse summarizes the principle well. When we are selfish, proud, unjust, sinful, and trusting in our own ability or worth to save us, we are “sowing to the flesh,” and destruction awaits. But when we are selfless, generous, kind, and depending on God’s provision and salvation, we are “sowing to the Spirit” and will reap eternal life. act of contrition.
Faith in Jesus and the pursuit of godliness is “sowing to the Spirit.” Sowing to the flesh, depending on ourselves and our ability to find our own way without God’s help, will reap nothing but a dead end. But when we place our trust in Christ, we reap eternal life. His love is fertile ground.
Where does you reap what you sow come from?
To reap is “to gather a crop” and to sow, “to plant seeds.” Throughout versions of the Bible, sowing is used as a metaphor for one’s actions and reaping for the results of those actions. In the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Hosea, God finds the Israelites worshipping an idol of a calf and, in the 1611 King James Version, says, “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.” The saying means that the consequences of already bad actions will be even worse.
In his Christian New Testament Epistle to the Galatians, Paul the Apostle writes: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” He goes on to instruct the Galatians to “sow to please the spirit” rather than the flesh, indicating that a spiritual life will result in reward.
An English sermon collection from 1654, about forty years after the King James Bible was finished, frequently addressed the theme of metaphorical sowing and reaping, helping you reap what you sow achieve proverbial status. The expression later came to be used outside of religious contexts, often in politics, business, and as general wisdom. The 1820 book Maternal Solicitude for a Daughter’s Best Interest advises working with diligence, because one cannot reap without the effort of first sowing.
In 1822, the saying appeared in British Parliament. Warning that policies enforced in the British colonies may later be applied back in England, one speaker said, “As we sow, so shall we reap.” In 1884, Benjamin Butler, a third-party candidate for President of the United States, encouraged his supporters to vote third-party, saying,”He who expects to reap must sow, and he can’t reap when he ought to be sowing, and the Presidential crop is harvested only once in four years.”
In 1894, Profitable Advertising magazine encouraged readers to spend liberally on advertising, invoking “the old story of sowing and reaping” that “the preacher tells” to illustrate the concept of return on investment. A 1911 ad in the Big Four Poultry Journal made the same comparison with regard to advertising. Also in 1911, Business Philosopher magazine put the proverb to use in the context of positive thinking and self-help, offering advice such as “sow a good action, reap a good habit,” and “sow a good habit, reap a good character.” These examples connect material success to the expression’s original cautions about moral character.
Although you reap what you sow has spread well beyond religion and morality, the proverb still enjoys use in those contexts, especially owing to its biblical origins.