If you plant a watermelon, corn, butterbean, or okra seed, you’re likely to get a whole bunch of seeds from that one. Now, it’ll take a while for that one little seed to mature and produce it’s fruit. But it will happen.

Later and greater. Charles Stanley (according to his son Andy) may have been the one to come up with the phrase: later and greater. Basically the idea is that there is a spiritual principle set in motion by God that everyone will reap what he sows (see Galatians 6:7). Using the planting analogy, when you sow the seed of irresponsibility (in areas like your finances, credit, sex, marriage, or child-rearing), you will reap those seeds at some point. The seed will take root, grow, blossom, and will eventually produce a harvest for you.

Here’s the bad part: the harvest will always be greater than the one seed you planted. So, if you sowed a lot of irresponsibilty seeds, then you’ll get to reap a whole lot of it later. When that happens to most of us, we complain to God and beg for him to dig us out.

He can’t. He put this principle into motion. If he were to bail you out, then God would have to do the same for others. He still loves you. He just won’t bail you out!

So, the next time you want to do something that is irresponsible, think long and hard about it. Sometime down the road that one little seed will drop at your doorsteps a much greater harvest than you ever expected.