Paul surely wasn’t into precision agriculture but his advice is spot-on. 

2 Corinthians 9: 6-15 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 

I come from the country so I know a little bit about planting and harvesting but I don’t think you have to be a farmer to understand what Paul is saying to the people in Corinth here. Farmers know there are accepted guidelines about how much seed is sown or planted, how far apart the seed should be spaced and the judicious placement of the rows in which the seed is planted. Paul doesn’t seem to subscribe to those same guidelines here.

Paul’s mantra has everything to do with generosity and nothing to do with measured placement. I do like that he says giving should be done based on what we have decided to give. We country people have an independent streak in us like that. Still, he says that we should give on every occasion and I know that there’s no way I’m out planting in December, at least not around here and not if we’re talking about corn and soybeans. No, about the only way that would happen might be if I were tending a greenhouse. Maybe in that controlled environment, out of the cold, I might be planting some sort of vegetable. The thing is I don’t really know much about greenhouses, aside from working in a tomato greenhouse for a few months one fall. Maybe Paul’s getting at something like that.

See, there are a lot of circumstances where we can give. There are causes and volunteer opportunities and ways to do good, to scatter the seed of God’s love everywhere all the time. Just because I don’t know much about all of them doesn’t mean I can’t become involved; if I choose to. Paul says I should.

Paul says that if I want to I can pass along the best, most wonderful gift ever, the love of God. And I can do it everywhere and at all times. Wouldn’t that be great? Wouldn’t that be something I would want to be a part of? Because it’s not just about me, it’s about catching others up in this movement, this wave of His love that we’re really after here.

When we act in His love our love is infectious. Like some virus (but in a good way) we spread from one to another to another. It’s the sharing of our care and our generosity that makes others want to do the same. I’m reminded of our youth mission trips. Almost without fail when our work crews begin painting and fixing up a house throughout the course of a week the neighbors start to work on their own houses. I’ve literally talked to neighbors who said they were inspired by our actions to get at those projects they had put off doing that would make their own place tidier and more appealing.

That’s what it’s about folks. Imagine what we can do if all of us give, in whatever way we can and at whatever time we can. It’s our decision how and how much but I think Paul’s pretty clear. We are called to generosity.

Ever served and seen your efforts reflected back in others around you? Cool isn’t it? I’d like to hear your story if you’re willing to share below.


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