NIV- “A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.”
In Galatians 6:7-9, we are introduced to one of the most applicable Biblical principles, sowing and reaping:
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (NIV)
In order to truly understand this principle, I think it’s important to look at the farmers’ process of sowing and reaping. In the first stage, the farmer sows planting seed in his field. Next comes the stage called progression. During this stage, the farmer irrigates, fertilizes and weeds the field. Finally, when the time comes for harvest, the farmer begins the stage of reaping. In order to reap, he cuts the crops for harvest with a sickle (for those of you curious like me, a sickle is a farming tool with a curved blade that is used to trim crops).
Now that we better understand the stages of sowing and reaping I want to discuss how this process familiar to farmers applies to us as Christians in the business world. This is going to be a two-part post with my focus here being the stage of sowing and Friday’s post being on the final two stages: progression and harvest.
In my opinion, this is one of the most essential principles a Christian businessperson can implement into their business activities. In order to be successful in our professional careers, it starts with sowing good, God-honoring seeds daily. So what are some action steps you may ask:
- Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur or in sales like me and have a goal of increasing sales in the future. We aren’t going to raise those numbers by sitting on the computer refreshing Facebook and Twitter all day. We need an action plan. The first action for sowing good seeds should be to make prospect calls daily if you aren’t already. If you are, kick it up one notch. One thing I’ve learned in the sales world is that there’s always another level you can be on. If you think you have arrived, kick it up another notch. It just takes effort. Sow seeds daily that will lead toward your goal.
- Maybe you would like to grow personally and change your thinking. I talked about this in my post last week about pursuing wisdom. In order to change our current thought process, we need to replace it with a new, better way of thinking. The first step should be scheduling a daily time to read the Bible. What better way to change our thinking? Second, if you would like to think differently, spend time with people who think differently than you. For example, if you would like to improve your financial IQ, spend time with people who are wealthier and possess a higher financial IQ than you. Next, make it a priority to read a book 15 minutes every day by a leadership author whose thought process you would like to have. Finally, you can also listen to podcasts by similar people.
- Alright let’s get real now. Now that winter is coming to an end and it’s beginning to warm up outside, some of us are beginning to realize we need to shed a few pounds. I’m not a weight loss expert nor do I claim to be one but I’m sure a few ways to sow good seeds would be to lay off the fast food and make an effort to get to the gym for an hour everyday.
That’s just three examples but hopefully you understand the point I’m trying to make. Some of the best advice I’ve ever received is to adhere to the Slight Edge Philosophy. Jeff Olson, author of the book The Slight Edge writes:
“The slight edge philosophy is based on doing things that are easy-little disciplines, which, done consistently over time, add up to the biggest accomplishments.”
The thing I appreciate about this way of thinking is that it breaks things down to the ridiculous. By that, I mean it makes us think about the individual decisions we are making on a daily basis and whether or not they are bearing fruit. One thing to keep in mind though – Slight Edge can work for you or it can work against you. Case in point: if we make poor decisions consistently for a long period of time, after a while we will not be happy with where we end up.
A perfect example of this is people’s financial statements. It’s my personal belief that if more people followed the philosophy of Slight Edge we would have less financial strife in the world. I hear all the time of people who complain of not having enough money yet those are the same people I see making spontaneous purchases at the gas station and going out to eat all the time. Or how about this – how many people do you think would choose to go back and change their poor driving habits upon getting their expensive insurance bill as a result of a few speeding tickets?
So let’s make it a priority to remember the philosophy of the Slight Edge. It’s the little disciplines and decisions done consistently over a period of time. Remember, the Slight Edge can work for us or it can work against us. If we choose to make the Slight Edge work for us, sky’s the limit as far as the goals we can accomplish and the harvest we can potentially reap in the future.