King David learned this with his fall from grace after coveting his neighbor’s wife, committing adultery and murder, and bearing false witness (2 Samuel 11).

We’re also reminded of this most every week as we hear a celebrity apologizing for something they had done, or rather were caught doing. Whether it is one of our esteemed “public servants” trying to explain their innocence (or ignorance) of some impropriety, an entertainer excusing their actions as a result of someone else or a sports figure justifying the use (or misuse) of a banned substance, it has sadly become commonplace and should at the very least be another warning to all of us.

Earlier this year, Lance Armstrong, seven-time winner of the Tour de France (cycling’s most celebrated competition), publicly confirmed the allegations swirling around him for the past decade about his use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). As a result he was stripped of his titles and banned from any elite competition by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

This law of reaping the same as what we sow is not limited to the negative; it can also provide positive consequence when we “do good.”

A couple of months ago, Sarah Darling, a Kansas City woman, stopped to empty her change purse into the collection cup of a homeless man, Billy Ray Harris. She had forgotten she had earlier taken her diamond ring off and dropped it into that same purse. When Darling later realized what she had done, she went back to find the man, and fortunately she did.

"I asked him....'I don't know if you remember me, but I think I gave you something that's very precious to me,' and he says, 'Was it a ring? Yeah, I have it, I kept it for you,'" Darling said.

In appreciation, Sarah and her husband set up an online fundraiser for Harris. Within a week, there were over 3,400 donations totaling nearly $95,000. When asked what he thinks about this, Billy Ray’s response was, "What I actually feel like is, 'what has the world come to when a person who returns something that doesn't belong to him and all this happens?'"

What a profound thought for just “doing the right thing.”

If you’ve found yourself on the short end of reaping something you did not sow or have done wrong and are paying the consequences, don’t let it dictate who you are or determine the remainder of your life. King David was able to rediscover his path to God’s own heart and the purpose for his life, and you can too.

My peace is found each day in trying to sow what is right, being grateful for all I receive, handling disappointment as they come (rather than “foreseeing” them) and understanding all will take place in God’s time.

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." -Robert Louis Stevenson

Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, "He Said-She Said," in's Singles Channel. An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback? Send your comments and questions to Find him on facebook and twitter.

Publication date: August 1, 2013