Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Matthew 13: 3-8
In case you haven’t heard, I have a thing for gardening, farming, and just Green and Permie stuff in general. So much so that recently I read this passage and viewed it entirely different from how I’ve heard it preached my entire life.
See, in American Christianity, there is an emphasis on individualism to the point that we actually believe that we can remain unaffected by our upbringing, our surroundings, our friends, etc. We believe that the human soul is entirely autonomous. It’s not, but that’s what we are saying when we tell people that how a person treats them should not matter, they should have the “proper” response regardless the evil done to them. If pressed, we’d have to admit we believe that we all grow up in a vacuum, and live and operate in a vacuum our entire adult lives.
We intrinsically know this isn’t true, but we want it to be. We all want to be the big John Wayne, out there, doing it on our own, no help, unaffected by the evil men and women do to us.
And so, when this passage is preached, the pastor asks the usual question: What type of soil have you prepared. As if you have no other factors that go into preparing the soil of your heart.
I find it ironic that God says in Genesis 9:5, that He will demand an accounting from even animals for the lifeblood of humans, but we honestly think that there is no demand for how we treat other people.
But what goes into the preparation of our soil is not only from us. And if we don’t admit that, we will continue to struggle with our Christian walk if we grew up in abuse or have had great evil done to us, and we will struggle with people rejecting the faith and won’t be able to minister to them because we can’t see that their block is the cruelty they have known, far too often, sadly, at the hands of those claiming to be Christians.