Some people call it karma. A person receives the same treatment that they have given to others whether that be positive or negative. Jesus taught it this way, "You reap what you sow." But what about the times that I don't reap, Jesus? I mean, I'm nice to people and they are not always nice back. How does this fit into your whole reaping and sowing?
As always, this can be linked to a heart condition. Our impatience, programmed for instant gratification, living in a world of microwave dinner, hearts.
Let's say I am nice to someone, that person is not nice to me. Should I continue being nice to that person or begin treating them the way they are treating me? The world says, "treat them the way they are treating you" or "cut them off from your life altogether, you don't need that crap".
Jesus gave some very different advice:
“But I say to you who are listening, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who are cruel to you. If anyone slaps you on one cheek, offer him the other cheek, too. If someone takes your coat, do not stop him from taking your shirt. Give to everyone who asks you, and when someone takes something that is yours, don’t ask for it back. Do to others what you would want them to do to you. If you love only the people who love you, what praise should you get? Even sinners love the people who love them. If you do good only to those who do good to you, what praise should you get? Even sinners do that! If you lend things to people, always hoping to get something back, what praise should you get? Even sinners lend to other sinners so that they can get back the same amount! But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without hoping to get anything back. Then you will have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High God, because he is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin. Show mercy, just as your Father shows mercy." Luke 6:27-36 NCV
Basically, Jesus was saying, "Harvest is coming! You have been put on this earth with a purpose, to plant my Father's seed. The harvest is not for your glory but for his. So stop seeking the harvest and focus more on the seeds you're planting."
I have to be the change that I want to see in the world. I have to be the change that I want to see in the world. I may be nice to someone and they may never be nice to me back. If I am focused on myself, I will get frustrated in those moments and give up with a 'what's the point?' attitude.
What I don't realize and often tend to forget is that others are always watching. Always seeing the seeds that I am planting in the world around me. When I plant my Father's seeds, when I show kindness where it seems undeserved, people will notice. The question that I have to ask myself is who I want them to notice. Do I want recognition for all the 'hard work' I'm putting in by planting this seed? Or do I want them to recognize the One who gave me the seed to plant? God is kind to me, God is forgiving to me, God is generous to me, God is merciful to me. Am I taking His example and planting the same in this world?
"Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." Luke 10:2 NKJV
Yesterday, I was feeling awful. My face felt like it had bricks laying on it and I pretty much stayed immobile the entire day except to see the doctor, pick up my medicine, and show up to work for five minutes before throwing in the towel (yes, I suck at taking care of myself and should have called in rather than tried to go in, lessons learned, maybe. That's probably another blog altogether.)
But the most awful part of my day came when I had to make one more run to the store because my oldest son has a product fair coming up at school and needed supplies. Needless to say, my heart was not in to leaving the couch. The younger two started arguing in the backseat the moment we left the house. It only took me a block or so before I lost it.
“Guys, I can’t do this today. I feel horrible, I just want to sleep, but I’ve got to go to the store and all you guys want to do is argue which is making me really really upset.” I yelled and immediately felt awful for my tone. But it was the truth. Somehow, totally had to be by the strength of God, I was able to take a breath and continue in a much calmer voice, “We are a family. We’re supposed to be a team and help each other out. I’m not feeling well so if you could please not talk until we get to the store I would really appreciate it.”
My youngest asked if we could turn the radio on and not another word was said until we reached the store.
What’s my point for sharing this? Because my guess is that I'm not the only one that reaches a breaking point. In this moment, my sons were arguing with each other. They had nothing to say to me, they're beef was with each other. But because I was so frustrated with my current circumstances of being sick and not wanting to leave the house I reacted by yelling at them. The rest of the afternoon they concerned with how I was doing.
Maybe it’s the person paying in change at the grocery line when we are in a hurry, maybe it’s our kids laughing and playing loudly unaware that we have the weight of bills on our mind, maybe it’s an overly excited person when our day has sucked.
What’s interesting is that as selfish as us humans can be we don’t often realize that in these moments we are the issue not them. We might react by rolling our eyes, sighing deeply, yelling, or complaining.
How do we change this? How do we take ownership of our toxic hearts and fill them with love and empathy even on our worst days?
Well, I’m not sure how you do but I ask God for help. I pray that He slows me down, He reminds me to enjoy life, and He pours love through me. We were never designed to be ruled by our circumstances, that is a broken process of a broken world. We were designed to look past our current circumstances and hope for better through faith.
Love cannot be fully expressed without action. I suck at loving others when my own little world sucks. But when I focus on the bigger picture and the bigger God, I find it easier to love on others. I encourage you to tap into something bigger than yourself today. Tap into a God who is love and allow His love to pour through you.
If you're looking at life and there are some things that just suck, if you can't find light in the tunnel, I encourage you to click the button below and send me a prayer request. I don't have the answers, as you can clearly see from the beginning of this blog. But I believe that God sees you exactly where you are and wants you to know you are not alone. So, I will gladly join you in prayer for change.
Nicole Donoho, owner of Teddyfly LLC, enjoys writing stories for all ages. She currently lives in Northwest Arkansas where she takes in the beauty of the Natural State with her husband, Jacob, and their three sons-Elijah, Josiah, and Solomon.