Which Kingdom Are You Sowing Into?
By Charles Schultz/Gary Amirault
Take this quiz:
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.
How did you do? The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.
Those who are listed in the categories above are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.
Easier? The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care. --Charles Schultz
The above anecdote can be summarized by the words of Jesus, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
It is obvious from just looking at the world (even the church world) that while many people have heard these words, few of us seem to take stock in them. Indeed, few of us conform our lives to these words. Why is that?
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." (Gal. 6:7-10, KJV)
It's really a matter of which world we live in, isn't it? If we live and yield to the lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life, we will seek fortune, fame, honor, titles, and self-glory. We will want others to serve and honor us. We will end up "using" them, even though we won't consciously acknowledge that.
If we live in the spirit, in the kingdom of God, we will sow to the spirit by the spirit. We will put others above us. We will sow into their lives. We will value them above what they can do for ourselves. We will sow spiritual life into them and we will ultimately reap spiritual things perhaps not from them individually, but from our Maker through others in this lifetime and in the life to come.
From the above anecdote, we can see that the glory of this world disappears even before we leave this life. And yet we still lust for it and pour our lives into it. The god of mammon (materialism) has a powerful pull on us (especially in the Western world) as long as we live in the flesh and pour our time and money into it.
"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want" (Gal. 5:16,17 NIV).
We would truly do ourselves well, if we became honest with ourselves and took inventory of our lives to see which kingdom we seem to be operating in and sowing to.
Honesty consists of the unwillingness to lie to others; maturity, which is equally hard to attain, consists of the unwillingness to lie to oneself. --Sydney J. Harris
One kingdom is fading away. It's glory passes as quickly as the days go by. The other kingdom goes on increasing in glory. Which kingdom are we sowing into? Both kingdoms are within us and we will reap the fruit of the one we sow to. Keep in mind that the headliners in the anecdote were the best in the world---and yet their glory is gone.
We need to take a fresh inventory of our lives today. It's in everyone's best interest. --Gary Amirault