According to researchers, what percentage of us will actually keep our New Year’s resolutions this year?
a. 75 percent
b. 50 percent
c. 25 percent
d. 8 percent
If you guessed 8 percent, you get a gold star. Sadly, for every ten of us who make a resolution to change in the year ahead, only one half of one girl (don’t ask me which half!) will actually follow through.
In order to understand why, I need to take you on a little tour of my garden …
You’ll have to use your imagination a bit as we walk. See that pile of dried-up vines? That’s where my tomatoes were last summer. See those stalks lying over in the mud? Believe it or not, that was a row of sweet corn. And there, where those pumpkins are all squished into the ground, that was my fall pumpkin patch.
True, my garden isn’t much to look at in the dead of winter, but it sure makes my heart sing in the spring and summer. I think I like the predictability of it. I plant a tomato seed, I get a tomato. I plant a pumpkin seed, I get a pumpkin. It never happens that I plant corn and get green beans or plant squash and get watermelons. What goes into the ground is what inevitably comes out. Life rarely offers such predictability.
It’s called the Law of the Harvest. What you plant is always what you will pick. It’s a principle that all good gardeners know, but one that makes a big difference in our lives outside of the garden walls.
The Bible says it this way:
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that he will also reap (Gal. 6:7).
In other words …
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully (2 Cor. 9:6).
What you plant into your life this year is what you will reap from your life this year. What you invest the most in is where you will see the most growth. What you invest a little in will produce just a little bit of fruit. No exceptions.
You can’t expect to plant all your free time into your iStuff and grow up a crop of knowledge from God’s Word. You can’t plant love for a guy into your heart and expect love for God to take root. You can’t plant movies, books, TV shows, and friendships into your life that aren’t God-honoring and expect God to grow up a crop of blessings anyway.
What you plant, you reap.
What you water, tend to, and fertilize in your heart is what you will have to show for your year.
Just like I can’t plant tomato seeds and grow a pumpkin vine, you can’t expect to create change that you don’t plant. Change doesn’t happen by accident. Wisdom isn’t gained by chance. You won’t be more like Christ at the end of 2014 simply by coincidence.
I’ve heard a friend say it this way, “You are what you’re becoming.”
You can expect who you are at the end of the year ahead to look a lot like who you are today, because what you’re planting now is the only thing you can harvest later.
I hope you will resolve to know God better, follow Him closer, study His Word more often, and serve Him more in the year ahead. The only way to avoid being among the 92 percent of people whose great intentions for the New Year simply end up in a garbage heap is to plant with the harvest in mind.
So how can you live out the Law of the Harvest in your life this year?
Here are a few questions to get you started:
- What am I “planting” with my entertainment choices?
- What am I “planting” with the amount of time I spend reading my Bible?
- What am I “planting” with the ways I use my free time?
- What am I “planting” in the lives of other people?