Let me begin by saying that this post about money includes a verse from the Bible. I promise, I am not secretly trying to convert you to any religion! I have no hidden agenda. I just want to share a financial concept and experiment that might just blow your mind and bring you amazing joy. But I promise not to turn all preachy on you. If this isn’t your thing, just exit and know that my next post will feature recipes for roast turkey and homemade cranberry sauce.
Planting and Harvesting
The concept of sowing and reaping is a beautiful paradox. If we look at nature, we see it displayed in its purest form.
Let’s say someone gives me a handful of open-pollinated corn seeds.
I plant them in good soil, tend the plants, and harvest more ears of corn than my family and I can eat. I now have extra corn to share with others. I also have new seed to plant next year and feed my family again. I even have seed corn to share with others so they, too, can grow corn and share the harvest.
This idea of planting, harvesting and sharing applies to finances, too. Back in the days when food supplies were highly unpredictable, the Scriptures commanded the people to take a tenth of their crops or money to the storehouse so that food would be available for the poor and times of drought and famine. It makes sense, doesn’t it?
After reminding people to be generous givers in the book of Malachi (chapter 3, verse 10), God says something surprising. “Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
Did I read that right? Does God just flat-out challenge us to test him by giving? If you want to see this concept in action, here’s a fun experiment.
A Month of Sowing and Reaping
Take a piece of paper, and write “30 Days of Giving” at the top. On the back side, write “30 Days of Receiving.” (If you are a praying person, you may wish to send up a little prayer that God will illuminate people’s needs and show you opportunities to share.)
Now, every time you give–whether it’s a $5 bill to the young man earnestly playing his guitar in the park, or the jackets you gather up and drop off at the Winter Coat Drive, or the cookies you take to your widowed neighbor, or the check you write to your favorite charity–jot it on your “Giving” list.
At the same time, watch for unexpected gifts and blessings in your life and record those on your “Receiving” list.
The paradox I’ve experienced is this: No matter how much goes on the Giving list, the Receiving list always grows longer.
If you try this experiment, I invite you to return and share your stories in the Comments section of this page.
As Thanksgiving approaches, may your days be positively overflowing with joy and good things. I am so thankful for each one of you.
Thanks to Alfred Schrock for the dried corn image, Samuel Zeller for the corn plants photo, and Meg Stewart for the picture of the ears of corn.