Happy New Year! January 1, 2016. Sweet 16! This year we all have 366 days of blank pages to write our new stories. So on this very first day of the year, it came to mind what do I sow?
I believe the bible is the inspired word of God. I believe it has everything in it for every one who will listen and apply it, to have the most amazing life. It is not just words and basic parables and psalms. It is inspired and relevant and true.
When dealing with people in our lives, family and friends and co-workers, what do we sow? There are so many posts on social media these days about how people treat you not being important, its only in how you ‘react’ to them. I think that is very true, but I also think it ignores the premise of responsibility. If you think that controlling your emotions is easy, raise your hand. Yep that’s what I thought. The philosophy books are filled with good meaning people from all the way back to through the ages, all giving their good advice for acting instead of reacting.
Here is a basic scenario, you work with a coworker who is less than ethical as you are. Every day you go into work and you try to deal with said person, and every day you are left angry and frustrated over this persons inability to take pride in their work. You are absolutely responsible for your actions and how you treat them. This is your chance to put on your grown person pants and inspire something in them. Be someone they can look up too and hopefully model after. This will be difficult, but it is nonetheless possible and important for your sanity as well as the company you work for.
What about a family member. Say you have a family member who is lying to you. Not anything big, very small insignificant things. And say you have known this person all your life, have a relationship with them and have worked hard to get them to trust you. One day you throw your hands up and declare it is the last straw. You are done with this person and you can no longer tolerate their disrespect for you and you cut them off. Sound familiar? Yep, it does to me too. So now what? Why did you do this? Why did you let this family member enrage you to the point that you are ready to shut the door on them? A friend once told me, if the actions of another hurt you, it is because you are invested in them. If someone can walk away from another person, and it is easy for them, they were never really invested. I am not talking about the friendships that seem to dwindle over the years, I am talking about the that’s it, its over, close the door and walk away situations.
Lying is a big no-no for most people so I am using this as an example. So here you are with your family member, significant other, any one you are close too, and you catch them in a lie. Do you feel the hurt? do you feel betrayal? You are invested. Does it depress you and make you feel bad and question the very relationship? You’re invested.
But the one thing to remember here, you do not have to own these feelings. They are the ones who have sowed them. Most people don’t understand this one simple principal. Its so plain and easy and it has and will continue to save me from the guilt and hurt I felt towards my self from the actions of other people. They sowed this. So I give myself full rights to feel badly. Its OK. This was sowed into my world, my relationship, and I had nothing to do with it. It was completely the choice of the other person. It was not my choice to be betrayed. It was not my choice to be hurt. And I have learned, when I stop asking myself why did this happen, what have I done to deserve it and what is my responsibility to these actions, I am a lot better off. It is no reflection on any of us who have ever been betrayed or lied too or done wrong. It was totally someone else’s handy work . And what I am feeling is a result of that sowing, because for every thing sowed, there shall be a harvest.
Its biblical principal. Its universal. Its unspoken cosmic knowledge, what you put out is what you get back. And it is perfectly OK to tell the person who did the sowing that they are responsible for your feeling badly and your response. Let them have it back. Give it all right back to them, don’t let it change you or anger you or create bitterness in your heart. Let them own it and put it on their shoulders. Tell them how you feel and why.
What if you can not tell that person? What if they have died or you no longer talk to them? Write it down. Get it out into the world and out of your system and release it. Don’t harbor it, don’t cling to it, just give it back, then forgive yourself. You did nothing wrong that caused the actions of others. In today’s society it seems people are self validated and so self absorbed that they tend to think the world and the people in it owe them something. There is no responsibility towards actions or words. The future generation seems to be about them and what makes them happy. There is no accountability and they thrive on making them selves happy with zero responsibility for whom ever they hurt. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. I think people should return to virtues and values and strength of character and a nobility of personal pride and responsibility. But the world has its focus on self and unless these old fashioned values are taught at home, we will continue to see them disappear.
So what now? We have acknowledged and accepted that someone wronged us, we have forgiven ourselves for having no part in the choice or situation and given it back to them, now what? Now we forgive ourselves for being in the mess to start with. And we fill our heads with a constant barrage of positive reinforcement. We remind ourselves, we didn’t deserve it, and nothing we have done has aided to the person treating us this way. It was simply their own lack of character. We accept ourselves for the good person we still are, and we tell our hearts not to get angry, hard or let bitterness inside.
You see, I believe in this final step so much, that if we don’t release the negativity caused by someone else, then we, in turn, plant that in our own gardens. We being to sow into ourselves what someone else has projected into and onto us. Anger, bitterness, resentment, feelings of lowliness, depression, losing self worth and value. We begin to sow that into our own garden with the negative thoughts brought on from the actions of another.
This year, I plan on sowing only positive thoughts into my own garden. No longer will I allow the actions of a few people decide who I am and how I feel. The bible says I am a child of God, the daughter of a most high King, I am chosen! If there is no lying in me, no backstabbing and no strife, then I will accept none of these in my life. I will not sow someone else’s misery into my garden.
I will put on the whole armor of God. There is so much freedom to knowing about sowing and reaping. There is so much of life that is completely about sowing and reaping. If you do not like the turn out in your life, check your garden and see what you have been sowing.
For every one dealing with difficult relationships and family members, take it all to God and check your garden.
This is not to say that some people shouldn’t be removed from your life. Some times the damage they inflict is really more than the person can handle. But it is safer to say pray on every relationship and give it to God and let Him help you decide. This is in no way a suggestion that any form of abuse should be tolerated.
I hope the next year is full of positive and wonderful people in my life as well as in yours. But rest assured there is a Redeemer out there and all you have to do is read the directions and apply the principals and pray!
Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’