“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:6
I think I should have named this post “Spiritual Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy!” You’ll see why later. In the modern church world, there is a new word for giving. It’s called sowing. Money is now seed. The ministry is the soil. We are told to sow a seed into good ground (soil) in order to reap a good harvest. Who determines whether the ground is good or not? Where should one sow? Is it even biblical?
The Sowing-Reaping Concept
This concept has been around since ancient times. Only in the past few years has it taken on the size it has as an inducement to give. We are always reminded of 2 Corinthians 9:6. But we were only reminded. Now it is a rule if you want to receive God’s favor!
How did we go from giving and receiving to sowing and reaping? I think the term giving carries the connotation of no return. If I give something, I shouldn’t hope for anything in return. Some people are fine with that. That’s the way it is with most giving whether it be presents for a birthday or a donation to a worthy cause. But the idea caught on that if I sow something, I should expect to reap a harvest.
Pimping The Spirit
Today you can turn on the television to almost any Christian network and hear an inducement to sow a seed. While this is a clever way to get people to release their cash, it is used as a way to get God to notice you and bless you with whatever you need. When did God become a banker, bookie or shark? When did He start requiring cash in exchange for His favor?
It seems to be a practice to make sure you feel like you've missed the boat if you don’t get your seed in the ground. As if this isn't bad enough, there is the use of biblical events to ‘up-sell’ the reason for you to give more! The Year of Jubilee, Passover, Pentecost, Easter Sunday, and the like are used as further inducements to give. The jargon used is that these times or ‘seasons’ when God is most attentive and angels are being dispatched to minister to your needs. This is akin to prostituting God to get people to give. I call it “Pimping the Spirit”!
What Does The Bible Say?
Seed in scripture has always been about two things; children and food. For example, you have the seed of Abraham.
“Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” ~ Romans 9:7
Then you have sowing a field.
“So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?” ~ Matthew 13:27
Nowhere do you find seed representing money. Sowing, of course, is when you plant a seed in the earth. It can also represent rendering aid or service to another. The harvest is the result of sowing. Reaping is gathering the harvest.
These terms are used because the world was one big farm in biblical times. So farming terms were familiar to everyone. We are asked to give as we are led, not as we are cajoled, coerced, manipulated, or threatened. God wants us to give and enjoy the process, looking to Him for the blessing that extends beyond this world.
God Will Never Withhold Because of Money
I want you to understand something. God will never withhold what you need because of money! God is not a pimp! He does not use money as a tool to get blessings to you. That is not scriptural! If that were true, the rich would always be more blessed than the poor. And the poor could easily become wealthy by giving! Doesn’t that seem partial and one-sided to you?
“I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.” ~ 1 Timothy 5:21
If God tells us to avoid partiality, don’t you think He would practice what he says?
God Doesn't Need Your Money
Oh! That's sounds kind of blasphemous, doesn't it? Well, do you recall hearing that God can supply your needs because He created everything and owns the cattle on a thousand hills? Guess what? He was actually saying that he doesn't need your money! Why? Because he owns the cattle on a thousand hills! Read this…
“I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.” ~ Psalm 50:9-12
What do you say to that? God asks that we give to help those of the household of faith and the poor, not to help Him. He is God and is able to take care of Himself. He doesn't need your money to provide you with what you need either!
It is this author’s opinion that ministries that use such tactics to get you to give, is not good ground to sow into anyway. If one could give their way to blessings, everyone would do it and few would be poor! But Mark 14:7 says, “For ye have the poor with you always…”. God requires your time, not your money. He wants a relationship with you. Again, God is not exchanging money for favors. He is our loving Father and if we never gave a dime to a ministry, He would love and bless us. But because giving is more about the intent of the heart than the amount, anyone, even the poor can give and receive the blessings of obedience.
Give freely and willingly from a pure heart.