Men sowing seed by hand in the 1940s (from Sowing (en.wikipedia.org))

We are approaching Election Day here in Virginia. So, when I was listening to Mocking God (www.ligonier.org), a sermon on Galatians 6:6–10 preached by R. C. Sproul, 2017, it occurred to me that even when we vote we have a choice. We can sow to our own flesh, or we can sow to the Spirit.

Galatians 6:7-10 New American Standard Bible

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. Let’s not become discouraged in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not become weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let’s do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

It is an old metaphor. “We reap what we sow.” Long ago, in Rhetoric (classics.mit.edu), Aristotle spoke of it with distaste.

Metaphors like other things may be inappropriate. Some are so because they are ridiculous; they are indeed used by comic as well as tragic poets. Others are too grand and theatrical; and these, if they are far-fetched, may also be obscure. For instance, Gorgias talks of ‘events that are green and full of sap’, and says ‘foul was the deed you sowed and evil the harvest you reaped’. That is too much like poetry. 

Rhetoric, Book III (classics.mit.edu)

Still, that metaphor has found its way into the Bible. Here is where it first appears.

Proverbs 22:8 New American Standard Bible

One who sows injustice will reap disaster,

And the rod of his fury will perish.

So, what should we make of Aristotle’s criticism? Considering what Aristotle wrote on reproduction, the Generation of Animals (esp.org), for example, not much. The subject of reproduction intrigued and mystified Aristotle as much as it still does us.

What did Aristotle learn?

Human begets human (horse begets horse, etc.). — Aristotle

Aristotle on the Mechanism of Inheritance (philarchive.org)

That does not sound like much, but do we really know much more? We know that the cells of plants and animals contain the genetic code that we pass from one generation to the next, but where did that information — our genetic code — come from? Were we designed by God, or are we mere accidents? Is our genetic code the product of intelligent design or happenstance?

Contemplate the relationship between cause and effect, between sowing and reaping. As the foremost philosopher of his era, Aristotle spent his life trying to understand what could be known and how what could be known could be known. In time Aristotle learned to equate the pursuit of happiness with the pursuit of virtue. Aristotle pursued knowledge and wisdom trying to understand how he should live.

How does that old metaphor, “we reap what we sow,” relate to voting? What are the differences between desires of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit?

Galatians 5:17-23 New American Standard Bible

17 For the desire of the flesh is against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, in order to keep you from doing whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, 20 idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

When we vote or even when we choose not to vote, we must question our motivation. Are we driven by the desires of the flesh, or are we filled with the Spirit? Are we voting for the candidate we most expect to give us something, or are we voting because we wish to protect the God-given rights of our family, friends, and neighbors to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness?

We must remember that in every choice — every choice — even in the candidates we select on our ballot, we will reap what we sow.


We encourage you to do all the research you can. Check out COMPILING A LIST OF VOTER GUIDES | Prince William-Manassas Family Alliance (familyallianceonline.org).

Please link to our voter guides: VOTER GUIDES FOR CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES IN PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY | Prince William-Manassas Family Alliance (familyallianceonline.org).

Please post our flyer on public bulletin boards or leave copies on tables so that voters can pick it up and share it:

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