Do you ever have days you wish you could just erase? Do you ever say things you wish you could just delete? They say once something is released into Cyberspace it is always there. The same is true with the spoken word. Once spoken, it can never be unspoken. No wonder God chose to let us in on the power of our words and warns us how carefully we need use them.
I find myself wondering what things I’ve sown into the hearts of others with my words. There have been times that I didn’t think much about the impact of my words on those around me. It’s pretty easy to do that until the seeds start to sprout. It’s then that you can see exactly what you planted. Yikes! I’m sure every parent, if they are honest, knows exactly what I am talking about. I don’t know if there is any other relationship on earth that more clearly shows a person what seeds they have sown than parenting. Perhaps any relationship where there is a clear leader and follower has a way of fleshing out the seed and the fruit. I just know that parenting has become my own personal, in my face, indicator of what I am producing.
I see it on the good and bad days. I see it when I see a glimpse of me in the laughter and joy. I see it in the playfulness. I see it when I sit back and watch them succeed at life and I know they have listened to the things I have tried to teach them. I see it when I see them stepping up to lead others in a positive way. Unfortunately, I also see it when I see reflections of those less than admirable qualities staring squarely back at me. I see it when my sarcastic bent comes back at me out of a mouth that hasn’t reached a level of maturity to know the proper use of sarcasm…there is a proper time, right? 😉 I see it when I look over to see their faces squarely planted in a piece of technology and I know they see mine there more than they see into my eyes. I see it when the fruits of fear and unbelief and lack of faith in a loving, good God to protect my kids builds a wall of disconnection between me and them because they don’t know it’s about me and not them.
This morning I’ve spent time on my knees asking for God’s mercy for the seeds I have planted that are producing a harvest I did not intend. I’ve asked Him to step in and redeem and restore those things I’ve produced in my brokenness that only He can fix. I’ve asked His forgiveness. I’ve sought forgiveness with the people I’ve hurt.
Now I wait on Him…
Now I wait on them…
Now I set out to plant different seed…
I’ve asked Him to show me my part in the process of redeeming the bad seeds I have already sown. I really don’t want to think about the possibilities if some of those seeds sprout. I can’t undo. I can’t unplant. I can move forward and this is what He showed me as I picked up His word.
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.
41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” – Luke 6:37-49
Looks like some pretty solid parenting advice to me! There is a lot of hope in those words for what is possible with the right planting! Did you catch where the seed needs to be planted, first? Did you catch where the foundation needs to be laid, first? It starts with me, not them. It makes sense, really! We take care of the plants that are producing the fruit before the fruit even begins to sprout. I’m sure there are vineyards and orchards all over the country this time of year preparing the plants for a harvest to come before they even start waking up from the winter.