I don’t even know why, but from the time I was a kid I always loved Galatians 6:7: “Don’t be deceived, God will not be mocked; whatever a man sows, that will he also reap.”
I guess maybe I liked the symmetry of it, but it seems odd for a Christian kid, and a pastor’s kid at that, to like such a verse; especially since I was - and still am, perhaps now more than ever - wrestling with what I can getting away with sowing while still reaping good things. It’s a bad deal. Not working well so far.
I’ve always been a strongly emotionally-led person. Almost to a fault, I follow my heart and live out of that passion, rather than following my head. This can be a challenging quality sometimes - I can be impatient or impulsive, and it often doesn’t lend itself to consistency - but overall, living in a heartfelt manner is great. Life is mostly vibrant and alive and exciting.
But not right now. Right now I’m struggling with my heart wanting the wrong things. I have been for a bit now. And when I’m making heartfelt decisions out of a heart that wants the wrong things… it’s producing some serious struggles. The joy and freedom and passion that I’ve been known for exhibiting is deeply lacking.
All I can conclude from these months of slogging along is that Christ’s paradoxical truth is just that… truth. Though it may seem unlikely, there truly is freedom in the way Christ taught us, a way of self-restriction. You sow self-denial, you somehow reap deep, soul-level gratification. You sow self-gratification, you’ll reap an absence of satisfaction that leaves your soul feeling a hollowness you couldn’t have imagined from the other side. I’m truly feeling that right now.
Somehow, though, despite these vivid descriptions… I’m still not sure I have the gut-level determination to change anything. I find it incredibly difficult not to internalize the messages I’m bombarded with every day from the godless society around me. It’s incredibly hard for me, even as I write these truths, to set my mind to change the line I’ve been walking… the seeds I’ve been sowing. Because being selfish is so damn easy. It comes as naturally to me as breathing. Looking out for #1 is currently my #1 priority, and if something doesn’t fit that paradigm… well, I just don’t have time or energy for it.
That is an incredibly hard thing to change, especially when I’m believing lies. Not big-picture lies, like the fact that Jesus was a myth or something; just small-scale ones, like the fact that I should sleep in on Sunday. That I shouldn’t tithe because I can’t afford it. That I deserve to be happy.
Whew, actually, maybe that’s not such a small lie. It’s pretty big in my life right now, and it’s becoming a monster. I’ve been sowing the seeds of “I deserve to be happy” for a while now, and goodness, my life’s fruit has been spoiling from the inside out and my heart has been atrophying. I keep expecting things - a mission trip, a visit from a boss, small group - to change me, but no, I’m still making the same decisions, living out of the same practical beliefs. And I’m slowly realizing… it’s not working.
Thanks for walking along with me in this raw, unfiltered introspection. Things have not been going well for me; I haven’t been living out of truth. And this post is me recognizing my need for change. I’m recognizing that I’m sowing things I really don’t want to reap down the line and that something needs to change. And by God’s grace, it will.