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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians


6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.


6 But this I say:

Paul now used a farming analogy to explain biblical giving.

He who sows sparingly

This individual plants very few seeds.

will also reap sparingly,

Miserly sowing produces a meager harvest. Limited sowing of seed has a smaller yield. If a farmer sows sparingly in the spring, then he will reap sparingly in the fall.

and he who sows bountifully [literally, with blessing]

Liberal sowing is fundamental to the size of the crop to come. Liberal sowing is to give from the principle of grace. Grace-giving rests on the attitude of the giver (next verse).

will also reap bountifully [with blessing].

Christians harvest blessing in proportion to what we give (Lu 6:38). Generous sowing produces spiritual enrichment in one’s own life. This is a law of nature, which is true in every category of life. To give to the Lord is an investment in a person’s spiritual blessing. Blessing comes in proportion to the wholehearted liberality of the giver.


The harvest is proportionate to the seed sown.


We reap what we sow. Reaping is commensurate with sowing (Ga 6:7-10). The principle is not to give to get, yet God gives bountifully to those who sow bountifully. Those who determine to give as little as possible have as their aim self-enrichment. They will have a scant spiritual harvest.

The size of the harvest corresponds to the degree of sowing (Pr 11:24-26). A farmer sows as much seed as he can so that he will experience a bountiful harvest. If Christians meagerly contribute to the cause of Christ, they will not have much spiritual harvest. The more we proportionally give, the more God’s work will be done; that is a blessing.

This does not imply that the more money we give, the more money we will receive in return. If we contribute in order to gain material wealth, we will reap spiritual poverty. However, God will reward generosity with sufficient material sustenance, but not necessarily affluence (Pr 19:17; 28:27; Mal 3:10; Lu 6:38). The more generous we are, the more generous God is with us. This will make it possible to continue one’s generosity.

A material seed can result in a spiritual harvest (Mt 6:19-20). It will lay up treasures in eternity and time.

Some may give proportionally smaller gifts to the Lord and others larger. It is not the amount but the proportion that counts. The widow who gave her two mites gave more than others who gave more quantity, but not proportionally more (Lu 21:1-4). However, even the proportion is not the final importance, but the way we give (as we will see in the next verse).