Archive for November, 2015

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“Hoe Your Own Row” so “The Proof is in the Pudding”

An idiom is “a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words.” The idiom “hoe your own row” is laden with various connotations depending on the situation where it is used, but I do believe that it can be a good reminder to all of us (especially our children) that there are some things for which only they can be responsible. Galatians 6 speaks directly to this concept. Often when we think of Galatians 6, we think of the teachings to “restore the one overtaken in a fault,” and “bear one another’s burdens,” and “do good to all men- especially those in the household of faith.” Clearly these teachings assure us that there are appropriate times to help others “with their own row.” However, couched between these teachings are also a few relentless statements about personal responsibility and personal reputation for what is growing “in your own row.” Galatians 6:3-5,7 says: “3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden. 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Verse 3 says that the inherent deception of self perception is that when one thinks about himself, he tends to over rate himself because he likes himself to have a good rating. Verse 4 brings us back to solid thinking by telling us that it is not our evaluation of self that is important, but the reality that our own actions, deeds, and work produce a reputation that is understood because of its clear evidence. Verse 4 in Idiom form says if “the proof is in my pudding” and the pudding tastes good, there is reason for joy and satisfaction, and no reason to snitch someone else’s pudding. Verse 5 is one hundred percent clear that we each have our own distinct row with various burdens falling to each one in different ways. Verse 7 seems to hearken back to the concept in verse 3, concerning who is deceived. Stated in idiom form verse 7 says “The trick’s on you,” but God won’t be fooled or ridiculed about the harvest in your row. Verse 7 literally has the idea that we cannot “turn up our snout” at God and “bellow or roar against him” concerning the reaping done in our row. In other words God perfectly connects the dots from the time of sowing to the time of reaping. He is never confused by the harvest in my row, seemingly insinuating that people like us often act confused about our harvest because of inherent self-deception.

From little on up, we try to help our children “connect the dots” by realizing that certain actions (sowing) leads to certain consequences (reaping). Parenting can become wearying as we continually preach this simple logic from the time they toddle toward the hot burner, to the time that they refuse traffic laws. At times we might even be pleased that they “got what they deserved,” as long as it doesn’t hurt too much! On the other hand “mature” people like us are all too often masters of denying our own harvest. When we look at our row, we gasp and act as though it’s not the one we hoe. In vain we explain to God and others that the multitude of weeds and lack of fruit in my row is quite explainable because of windborne weed seeds and native plants that lived here before I sowed my row. What fools we are to stand in our own row giving production disclaimers!

In conclusion, Galatians 6 clearly teaches that we are responsible to assist each other by doing good, bearing burdens, and restoring the erring one. However, Galatians 6 is also clear that we must reckon with the harvest as it is. We can’t wait until harvest time to name the “crops;” because even if we call the fox tails soybeans, they won’t taste the same or be enjoyed by anyone. Might I suggest that “hoeing your own row” has an independent, self made, and arrogant tone to it while “the proof is in the pudding” simply says that we have to reckon with what is. If we want our children to be successful, we must be there to assist them by hoeing with them in their own row, because it’s the time of hoeing that changes the harvest.  However, when harvest day comes and the “proof is in the pudding,” we can’t deny the taste of the pudding. We can only explain why it tastes the way it does and plan for a better harvest next time.

-Lyle Musser, Administrator

Posted by Kristen on Nov 9th 2015 | Filed in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “Hoe Your Own Row” so “The Proof is in the Pudding”