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The Best Harvesting Method

The Best Harvesting Method

Agriculture and evangelism are deeply intertwined. After all, Jesus himself compared himself to a sower sowing seeds, and all throughout Scriptures Christians are compared to fruitful trees.

James, the brother of Jesus and one of the first leaders of the very early Christian Church, used the agricultural imagery to add an interesting dimension to our evangelistic work. In James 3:18, we read the following: “and a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” In this fascinating verse, the apostle tells us about the best method of harvesting. It isn’t through lectures, passionate debates or aggressive doctrinal expositions. The best method to “harvest” lives living according the principles of God’s Kingdom is… peacemaking!

Yes, peacemaking!

This can be so challenging! When people with unrighteous lives or doctrines come to us, the last thing we want to do is peace. We want to tell it to them straight, show them how they are wrong and make their pride take such a hit that once we are done with them, all they can do is weep and ask for forgiveness. Peace making?

Yes, but only with those who agree with us!

So how do we actually harvest righteousness by making peace? What does this peace making actually mean?

Here are some ideas:

  1. Find commonalities. When conversing with people that you disagree with, do your very best to find things you can agree on. Why? Because your discussion on disagreements will be more fruitful and productive if it happens from a common ground.
  2. As we discuss with those who are and/or believe different, we tend to think we know everything about their identity and beliefs beforehand. Thus, we do not actually listen to what they have to say. Instead, we try our hardest to prepare the most scathing and convincing of rebukes based on our own assumptions. Please, make sure you actually pay attention to what the person is saying. If you find yourself in doubt, ask for clarifications!
  3. Discover the person’s story. Much of what we believe is strongly influenced and shaped by our personal experiences, and vice versa, our life experiences are strongly influenced by those beliefs. When we talk God with others, we must seek to learn their stories, so that we are not simply discussing doctrine and theology, but picture of a God we are called to love and journey through life with.

More is to be discovered. But what James states stands strong: the best harvest is harvested in peace.