You may not feel sufficient for what God has called you to do. Likely, as you look back over the last year, you feel freshly insufficient for your marriage, family, ministry, and other callings. That’s good. God does not call us to feel or be sufficient. We should feel insufficient for the Christian life (2 Corinthians 2:16). If we are genuinely able, it is because God is able. “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency . . . ” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
As the sun rises on another year, where do you want to be found more faithful twelve months from now — in your diet and exercise, or in the patterns of your marriage and relationships, or in personal evangelism, or in productivity at work, or in communion with God? The beginning of a year is as good a time as any to audit our hearts for our hidden places of faithlessness. What sinful impulses have we neglected, excused, or even harbored? What might God finally prune away — or bring to life?
The apostle Paul warns us with a promise, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). A farmer who sows a few seeds will reap a small crop, but one who sows much will have a great harvest. How we sow (and for whom) will determine — in real, significant, meaningful ways — what we reap. If last year left us emotionally unstable, financially distressed, physically weak and unhealthy, relationally disconnected, and feeling farther away from God, we are likely reaping what we have sown. And if we sow the same this year, we will likely feel similarly a year from now. Or worse.
But if we sow bountifully, we will reap differently. And our God loves to fill (and refill) the cups of those who eagerly pursue him, and gladly pour themselves out for others.
How Will You Sow?
When Paul wrote about sowing and reaping, he was writing about financial generosity (2 Corinthians 9:7), but not only that — “in every good work,” he says (2 Corinthians 9:8). So, as we turn the page to another year, we would do well to consider how well we will sow — our money, yes, but also our time, our energy, our attention. We can determine now, with our hands open before God, who or what will get the most and best of what God has given us. Most of us sow sparingly because we sow thoughtlessly and prayerlessly. No farmer sows bountifully by accident, and few Christians sow sparingly with serious intentionality.