Abundant Living Vol. XX, Issue 18

“Other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”  – Matthew 13:8 

While cleaning out my parents’ house many years ago after they had passed away we came across a copy of a letter my dad had written to a judge on behalf of a young man convicted of drug possession.  The young man had once worked for my dad and had been a decent, dependable, hard-working employee.  The obvious intention of the letter was to urge leniency from the judge as my dad believed the boy to be deep down a good person.  “I think he just got mixed up with the wrong crowd,” my dad stated in his plea.

Who among us would not agree that we are all products of the people we hang out with – good or bad?  It is why parents encourage their children to participate in things like Scouts (boys and girls), team sports, music programs, church youth groups, and other positive activities, so they will be exposed to good influences.  After all, if we hang out with smart people we become smarter, with good athletes we become better athletes, with good musicians we sing or play better, or with generally good people we are more inclined to live like they live.  Likewise, hanging out with the wrong crowd will most certainly influence us in negative ways.

For many years now I’ve been meeting with a group of men on Tuesday mornings for the sole purpose of influencing each other in positive ways.  We use our time together to pray, share something about our relationship with God, what we are reading or studying to help us grow in knowledge and spirit, and things we are doing to serve God and mankind.  Thankfully, over time I have become a product of these fine men I hang out with on Tuesday mornings, helping to distance me from the wrong crowds.

Aren’t we all sort of like seeds in a way, in that how well we grow and what and how much we produce depends on the soil in which we are sown?  If the soil is shallow and rocky the roots will not grow, or if the seeds are sown among weeds the plants will get choked out.  Contrast that to the seeds Jesus describes that “fell on good soil where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”  That young man, unfortunately, had gotten sown in some bad soil.  But my dad believed that if he were transplanted into good soil that he too would produce a good crop – and I pray he did.

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