by Terry Johnson (Ligonier.org)
The words of the apostle Paul are ominous, fearsome, sobering, encouraging, and strengthening as he says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, this he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7). When I was a young boy, the Baptist minister under whose ministry I sat between the ages of 10 and 20 preached a sermon on this text that made a crucial difference on how I handled my teenage years. I was at a stage when I was just beginning to question whether I wasn’t foolish for being a “goody-two-shoes.” After all, here I sit in church and the party is out there. Not only are they having all the fun, but they are pointing their fingers at me and laughing. I am missing out. Is it worth it? Galatians 6:7,8 answers this with a resounding yes!
“Do not be deceived,” introduces an undeniable truth. “This is an immutable law of God, which the phrase “God is not mocked” emphasizes, says Boice. God may not be “treated with contempt,” or “outwitted.” Don’t think that you “can ignore the commands God has given and go (your) own way with impunity,” as Morris puts it. “For whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” Don’t be fooled about this. Don’t deny for a moment that there is an inseparable connection between actions and consequences. If you sow corn, you will not reap wheat. This is a truism of agriculture. What you plant is what you will harvest. What you do will determine what you will become and where you go. What you put in is what you will get out. In the end, over the long haul, justice is served, we all get what we deserve. We become what we do. We cannot expect “to reap the fruit of the Spirit if we do not sow in the field of the Spirit,” Stott maintains. The adage put it like this: “Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”