“A Harvest of Goodness”

Some more Eugene Peterson quotes to provide a contrast to last night’s post.

By contrast, “he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit inherit eternal life.” Sowing to the Spirit opposes sowing to the flesh. It is a life that is lived openly and responsibly–a life of mutuality. Spirit is that aspect of the Godhead that breaks the other into relationship. It is that person of God by which we experience all that God gives. Sowing to the Spirit is participating in the community that experiences what God is giving: loving, saving, healing, caring. “Christianity,” wrote von Hugel, “has taught us to care. Caring is the greatest thing–caring matters most.”

Because there are no quickly perceived cause-effect relationships between moral acts and quality of life, some jump to the conclusion that there are no connections at all….Acts of giving are not like pebbles dropped in a pool that make a few temporary ripples and then sink to the bottom inert. They are not pebbles, they are seeds planted in the soil of life, and they will come up one day. The harvest is inevitable. “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Decisions are seed. Attitudes are seed. Acts are seed. Prayers are seed. Thoughts are seed. All of it will come to harvest….

Persistent, faithful, plodding belief and hope are necessary if we are to remain free to give. Despair, which descends by dungeon steps to depression, is one of the major afflictions in our society. People seek relief from it sometimes in entertainment, sometimes in violence. Christians make their way out of it step by step, sometimes with great effort, on hardly visible footholds of sharing. The besetting temptation of the life of the Spirit is simply to quit….

When we are released from self-centered fears, when we learn to trust God’s power instead of our own, we are free to give ourselves to others.

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2 Responses

  1. Acts of giving are not like pebbles dropped in a pool that make a few temporary ripples and then sink to the bottom inert. They are not pebbles, they are seeds planted in the soil of life, and they will come up one day.

    I love this. Thank you for sharing!

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