Reaping What You Sow

For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”—Galatians 6:7 (NKJV)

It’s been said, “The Christian life is an ongoing exercise of not getting what one deserves.” That’s very true in the sense that we all deserve eternal punishment as sinners before a holy and righteous God. Yet, by His grace, He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve (Psalm 103:10). 

Instead, God judged His sinless Son in our place; the innocent stepped in and took the punishment for the guilty. This is the profound beauty of the gospel . . . God personally pardoning us of a debt we couldn’t even begin to calculate, much less pay. As a result, we will never be judged as sinners before Him once we are “in Christ.”

That said, there’s a parallel principle we also need to recognize: recompense. Basically, recompense is the truth that we reap what we sow in this life. And although our sins are forgiven by the righteous Judge in heaven’s court, our sins still have earthly consequences.

Paul’s picture of reaping and sowing is the perfect word picture above. We can all understand the way seeds work. You put them in the ground and they eventually produce whatever they are. They don’t change midway. You don’t sow grape seeds and reap wheat! What goes into the ground is what grows out of the ground.

The principle of recompense works the same way. The seeds are our actions and the soil is life. What we plant is what we get back. Jesus seized on this powerful principle when He touched on judgment and judging in the Sermon on the Mount: “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you” Matthew 7:2 (NKJV).

Can you see recompense represented here? The way we judge others in this life will eventually come back to us. If we’re merciful and gracious, we’ll receive the same. But the opposite is just as true. If we’re cruel and unkind, we’ll reap what we sow. 

That’s why Jesus went out of His way to give us this reminder of recompense . . . He doesn’t want us to suffer unnecessarily if we can help it. He wants us to sow and reap in life according to His character. Our lives will be much more fruitful as we heed His reminder. 

DIG: What does recompense basically mean?

DISCOVER: How does the principle of recompense play out in our daily lives?

DISPLAY: How can you apply Christ’s reminder about recompense today?   

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.