"The merciful, kind, and generous man benefits himself [for his deeds return to bless him], but he who is cruel and callous [to the wants of others] brings on himself retribution."
- Proverbs 11:17 AMP
My husband and I were out having dinner recently, when I reached into my wallet to get my credit card and discovered that it was gone. As I began to mentally retrace my steps, I realized that I must have left it in the ATM machine at my bank an hour before. My first instinct was to panic, but I forced myself to remain calm so that I could pray for God's wisdom and help. Immediately, I sensed the Lord speaking reassuring words to my spirit--"You have sown seeds of protection." A sudden peace swept over me, and I prayed for the Lord's guidance. He led me to call my credit card company to tell them what had happened, and they advised me to find out from my bank if someone had turned in my card. As I followed their instructions, I discovered that some kind soul had found my card in the machine, and had, indeed, returned it to my bank.
As I pondered this scenario and gave my thanks and praise to God, He reminded me of a powerful principle in Proverbs 11:17 (AMP): "The merciful, kind, and generous man benefits himself for his deeds return to bless him." When we are merciful and kind to others, especially in situations that tempt us to be otherwise, we are sowing seeds of protection that will come back to bless us later on. Every time we are patient with the slow cashier at the store, we are destined to reap a harvest of protection and provision from the Lord somewhere down the line. Each time we are tempted to speak a critical word to a family member, but instead bite our tongues, we are positioning ourselves for someone to give us a break when we need it most. Jesus said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy." (Proverbs 5:7 NASB) In other words, as we sow seeds of mercy everywhere we go, we are planting a harvest of blessings that will come back to us later on.
The NIV translation of Proverbs 11:17 says: "A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself." What we have to remember is that there are negative consequences attached to our mistreatment or neglect of others. When we go through life overlooking the needs of other people, or taking advantage of someone else, we give the devil and his evil forces a mighty inroad into our lives. And as Jesus warned, Satan comes only to "steal, kill, and destroy." (John 10:10) When we are critical or cruel to others, instead of sowing seeds of protection, we are making ourselves vulnerable to spiritual attack. The Lord desperately wants to protect us, but He requires our cooperation, and our obedience to His laws.
I have to smile every time I think of that kind soul who returned my credit card. He has sown some powerful seeds of protection that will come back to bless him in the days to come. What kind of seeds are you sowing today?
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for Your laws of sowing and reaping (Galatians 6:7-8), and I ask You to do such a mighty work in my heart and life now, that from this day forward, I will only sow seeds that will come back to bless me and my loved ones. Thank You for the supernatural protection and provision that I will reap as I plant seeds of kindness everywhere I go.
- J. M. Farro