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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of August 1, 2005

Life is too short to spend it hating.

In Leviticus 19:17, God warns us against hating others: "Do not hate your brother in your heart." Interestingly, that verse shows us that hate isn't just an action; it is also an attitude of the heart. Many times we hate someone in our heart, yet pretend to like them. However, hating someone in your heart is nonetheless hate -- and thus despised by God.

Although it sounds harsh, 1 John 3:15 says that anyone who hates his brother is a murderer. Indeed, as far as your heart is concerned, to hate is to murder. In other words, hating someone is no different than murdering them in your hearts.

If you hate someone, you'll be thinking negatively about them, slandering them (if not verbally, at least in your heart), and cutting them down with your thoughts and words. Thus, it is no surprise that God sternly warns us not to hate others, because life is too short to spend it hating.

The type of seed you sow determines the type of harvest you'll reap.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously (2 Corinthians 9:6). This verse clearly states that whatever seed you sow determines the harvest you'll reap. In other words, you can't expect to reap good rewards if you sow bad seeds.

Proverbs 11:18 says, The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. Likewise, he who sows wickedness reaps trouble (Proverbs 22:8).

Even when things may appear to be going poorly and it doesn't look like you'll ever reap a good harvest, this principle of sowing and reaping remains true. If you Sow for yourselves righteousness, then you will reap the fruit of unfailing love (Hosea 10:12).

You may have to wait a bit to reap that harvest; in fact, you may even need to wait a long time -- maybe many, many years -- for a harvest. As Galatians 6:7-8 says, you will reap what you sow: Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

This Biblical principle of sowing and reaping is nicely summarized by Obadiah 1:15: As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.

Therefore, sow good seeds; then, after you wait upon the Lord, you will reap a far better harvest.