Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
The part of Galatians 6:7 about sowing and reaping is a fairly simple word picture, at least to those with a rudimentary knowledge of agriculture. You don’t plant potatoes and get strawberries, and you certainly don’t get corn when you haven’t planted, or sown, any corn seeds. So why the warning about being deceived? This incredibly key principle is extremely important for teens to understand and embrace.
Instant vs. Delayed Gratification
Perhaps this “crop” of teens, unlike any former generations, is quite accustomed to getting what they want in real time. Instead of having to wait for snail mail or to get ahold of someone when they’re home, we can now text someone’s cell and get an immediate response. If we want to listen to a newly released song, we can download it in seconds. These conveniences which many of us appreciate can be easily taken for granted by those who have never known a world without them. That issue, combined with the natural physiological makeup of a teenager’s brain, makes delayed gratification difficult.
When teens become accustomed to instant gratification, they can easily fall prey to the enemy’s deception that they can feel free to “sow their wild oats” without consequence. The time lapse between sowing and reaping can increase the power of this deception. For anyone who has planted a garden in the spring, a late summer or fall harvest seems far off. Would anyone go through the work of preparing, planting, and providing TLC for a garden, if they didn’t know that there would be fruits of their labors? Of course not. Denying yourself pleasures during the teen years will not necessarily bear rewards during that time, but the time of reaping will come.
Famous and Peer Examples
The time lapse between sowing and reaping is only one reason so many teens are deceived. Another is that they see examples—both in real life and in the media—of people sowing foolishly and seeming to reap no ill rewards. Movies show no-strings-attached sex and drunkenness without the inevitable consequences that accompany such lifestyles. Peers put up facades to make it seem like they’re having the time of their lives, when the emptiness inside is only growing.
In light of such deceptive examples, teens need to be shown the real results of sinful sowing. Taking them to a rescue mission or jail might be a good experience. Talking with a local police officer or medical professional about the effects they see regularly relating to drunkenness, drugs, and sexual promiscuity can also help teens gain a more realistic view.
When teens learn to make choices now that will positively influence their future health, marriages, families, careers, and finances, they’ll find out that wise sowing is worth the wait for the rich harvest they will enjoy.