Most Christians are familiar with the term “planting seeds.” It’s what we are called to do as we walk with Christ and have touch points with our fellow humans. We hope to leave an impression or words that inspire people to reflect on who Jesus is for themselves, even if we were not able to witness their full surrender to Him.
We live in this “already but not yet,” paradox of the Kingdom breaking into this world.
But what happens when the wrong seeds are planted?
The harvest of fruit of the Spirit we long to see on our lives seems to be crowded over with unsavory things like jealousy, insecurity, greed, and pride. Somehow those seeds were in us before birth. This “original sin” can wreak havoc on our lives and seem impossible to get rid of.
We carry these latent, bothersome seeds into the world and they are cultivated by those around us.
The father who walks out and triggers codependency. The friend who betrays and teases out fear and distrust. We all have “wrong” seeds just waiting for the right environment to help them grow.
I would love to tell you that we can be rid of them. That is not my experience, however. And it isn’t biblical either.
We will not achieve perfection in this world. Tend to all the weeds in your garden and new ones will undoubtedly crop up in their place. So what are we to do? Should we quit trying and “embrace our flaws,” (note: I am only referring to issues of character) and surround ourselves with people who put up with and (God forbid) encourage them?
Our best bet is to get busy planting good seeds. Seeds of faith, hope, and love.
We must plant them in our own hearts by spending time in the Word and in worship. By meditating on God’s goodness and asking the Spirit to guide our every move. We must till and plant and water them. Only then will we see desirable fruit.
But it doesn’t stop there. When our own gardens are overflowing with harvest, we get to share that joy with those around us.
It becomes second nature to encourage instead of complain. We slowly begin to find that we are responding effortlessly to things (and people) that used to be difficult. But it all begins with choosing which seeds we will plant.
So I ask you, which will it be? The seeds of the flesh or the seeds of the Spirit?
We have a Master Gardener (or Vineyard Keeper, if you will), to guide us. But it takes a little humility to admit we need guidance in the first place. Will you choose humility today and cultivate the fruit of the Spirit?