Plant Much, Harvest Much

Corn growing, Minnesota, USA
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 2 Corinthians 9:6 (NLT)

Driving through the fields of Iowa yesterday I paid special attention to the fields. Dry weather has caused the corn to prematurely turn to a golden brown. Many of the other crops maintain a deep green hue while the tall corn has turned a golden brown. The contrast of color and texture is striking in the hot September sun and cloudless sky.

Make no mistake, the corn fields are dense with corn. There appears to be little or no room between stalks and rows. Over the years, agricultural technology has helped farmers maximize the amount of corn they can successfully grow per acre in order to maximize their harvest yield. The Iowa Corn Growers Association estimates that Iowa farmers will harvest 2.45 billion bushels of corn this fall across just under 14 million acres. Contrast that with one friend of mine, a self-described “gentleman farmer,” who shared with me last week about the tiny patch of  corn he planted in his back yard. His harvest was a paltry few ears of corn that had already been half eaten by deer.

Contrasting the Iowa Corn Growers with my Gentleman Farmer friend, I have a perfect visual illustration of the word picture Paul used in his letter describing the truth about financial generosity: “Plant a little, harvest a little. Plant a lot, harvest a lot.” When we give our money to those in need, the amount of good that others harvest from our gift is in direct proportion to the amount of money we have planted in their hands. We can all give more.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Plant Much, Harvest Much”

  1. The verses that stood out to me in this chapter were 7 & 11.
    “Each of you should give as you have decided in your heart to give. You should not be sad when you give, and you not give because you feel forced to give. God loves the person who gives happily….He will make you rich in every way so that you can always give freely. And your giving through us will enable many to give thanks to God.”
    I think they have a broader application than just monetary. Some of the greatest giving comes when people donate their time and effort into others’ lives. And you can always tell the difference between those who are acting out of a true desire to serve God by serving you and those who do it out of obligation.
    Also I think they serve as a guideline for a corporate structure of giving. So many “prosperity preachers” emphasize giving and manipulate these verses with feelings of guilt or by stirring selfish motivations within the giver themselves. Other than following a Biblical model of tithing, we should never require or pressure people to give a certain amount.
    And in terms of nonmonetary giving, I love that it says to give what you decide to give in your heart. It puts the whole framework back on the individual, personal relationship with Christ. It reminds us that it’s really about our connection to Him. Everything comes from Him, including our desire to give and the quantity/quality of our giving.

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