Galatians 6: “You Reap What You Sow”

Paid In Full

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a little girl opened the door.

Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it so slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?”

You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for kindness.” He said … “Then I thank you from my heart.”

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Many year’s later that same little girl, now a young woman became ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor’s gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won.

Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words …

“Paid in full with one glass of milk”

(Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.

Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: “Thank You, God, that Your love has spread broad through human hearts and hands.”

By the way, Dr. Howard Kelly (1858-1943) was a distinguished physician who was one of the four founding doctors of Johns Hopkins University Hospital.


Galatians 6:7b-9 (NLT) You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.


My District Superintendent has been teaching me the meaning of an old proverb: “Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” Although this is a powerful proverb to learn and understand, it’s also quite fragile in theory because it rely’s on one thing… choice. We can never forget that ultimately we have a choice to make. This is the point that leads up to the last part of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. The writer (Paul) has written, and now the readers have to make a choice between living to please their sinful nature or living to please the Spirit.

You will always harvest what you plant. Think about the power of that one thought. If you plant sweet-potatoes you’ll get sweet-potatoes…every time. While we’ve come accustomed to Paul using agricultural analogies, he’s actually taking this one a step further. Paul wants us to think about the repercussions of planting either sin or planting life through the Spirit.

The Challenge

The challenge today is to always be mindful that we’re always reaping. There’s no neutral in the reaping process. We’re either reaping things that will lead to a harvest of decay and death, or we’re reaping things that will lead to everlasting life from the Spirit. So do what Paul suggested today… Don’t get tired of doing good, and especially don’t give up!