Sowing, Reaping, and Reciprocation

It was supposed to rain five inches last Sunday, so I did not physically go to church that morning.  Rather, I stayed home and watched the service on the Internet.  It wasn’t the same, but it was something!

The senior pastor was not preaching, but the youth pastor was, and his sermon was about trials.  In this post, I want to reflect on something in particular that he said.

He said that, if we love others during their trials, then others will be more inclined to love us during our trials.

That reminded me of something that someone said to me over a decade ago.  I was complaining to a leader of a small group about not feeling particularly loved in the group.  He replied that people reap what they sow: if I want friendship, then I need to sow the seeds of friendship myself.

There is some wisdom to that.  Of course, it is far from absolute.  And I mean FAR from absolute.  A person can try without success to make friends.  Articles attest that loneliness is quite common in this day and age.  Still, it is good for me to ask myself: is there anything that I am doing, or not doing, that may be turning people away from me?

Amidst all of this, I should remember that it is better to give than to receive.  I should try to be nice to people, even if I am not entirely certain that they will reciprocate, and even if I fail to make a connection with them.



About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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