The Law of Reciprocity

There is a very real law called the Law of Reciprocity.

This is the principle of giving and receiving. Like gravity, it is there, whether we believe in it or not.

Have you ever wondered why some people seem like magnets for good things? For some people, doors just always seem to open. It seems so incredibly easy. Then there are other people who seem like they have to fight just to stay above water. They seem cursed.

What’s going on?

The secret is in the seeds.


A farmer plans to plant a field of wheat. He wants to reap an incredible harvest, so that he can sell it, share it, or feed himself with it. What does he need in order to see this harvest? Yep. Seeds. Lots and lots of good seeds.

What else? Time. Timing. Patience. Faith. Location. The right soil conditions. Rain and sun in proper proportions. Knowledge. Understanding. Hard work. A supreme effort. Love.

When all these elements are combined in the right mix, he is guaranteed to reap a field of the finest grain. Why? Because that is the way that the earth is set up to work.

This example of the farmer is the most obvious example, but it is a powerful one. It is a metaphor for the way we’re to live and move through our lives. It represents the way we do business, the way we raise our kids, the way we treat people, and everything in between. It is the key to living the life of abundance and fullness that we were meant to live.

And make no mistake, we were meant to live a full and abundant life.

So how does the law of reciprocity work? According to this analogy, what does it start with? That’s right. Knowledge and understanding.

One of the scriptures in the Bible says, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

In the book of Proverbs, the writer says, “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold.”

It is important to start out in whatever you intend to accomplish with a foundation of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. The farmer has to know what kind of harvest he wants, so that he knows what kind of seed to sow. If he wants wheat, he can’t plant corn or beans. Without the right seed, the harvest is doomed.

He has to understand the weather patterns and know when the conditions are optimal to plant those seeds. He’s not going to go out in the dead of winter and scatter the seeds on ground that is frozen over and expect them to grow. For the farmer, timing is crucial.

He needs to be in the right location. If he’s living in Kansas or Spain, there’s a great chance he’ll yield a profitable and full harvest. If he’s living in Iraq or Greenland, his chances for a successful harvest are slim to none. When all of these elements are aligned, it’s time to begin planting or sowing.

In many parts of the world to this day, this remains a backbreaking and grueling process. If the farmer doesn’t have the heavy machinery, he has to use animals, laborers, or his own strength. There’s sweat and blisters and aching muscles. It is a supreme effort to break up the ground and get it turned over so that it is at just the right depth and richness.

Then there is the actual sowing process. The seed must be scattered at the right distance and frequency and ratio. It is vital for it to land on that perfectly cultivated ground and not in ground that is rocky or dry or weed-infested.

After this comes the difficult time of waiting and weeding. The land must remain free of weeds and other parasites as the tender shoots rise up out of the ground, or the harvest will be lost before it really even begins to develop. It is a constant process.

All the while, the farmer is seeing action. He sees the young plants springing out and growing. He catches the scent on the breeze.

But if that farmer is hungry or needs to sell his harvest because he’s running out of money, that can be the longest and hardest time of all. It’s right there in front of him, but picking it prematurely will kill the harvest and destroy all the months of hard work. There is nothing the farmer can do but wait and have faith that at the proper time, he will reap the good harvest if he doesn’t give up and become discouraged.

A good harvest – the best harvest – is always about the proper time.

That is the key. Too early, there’s no fruit. Too late, the fruit dies and rots and falls to the ground. There’s nothing that can be done to speed it up. It will happen at the right time. The farmer has given and given of himself. He plants and toils and cares, having faith that his efforts will pay off. At the right time, he receives back all that he has given and then some.

So it is with the Law of Reciprocity.

It is constant and reliable. But it is hard work and discipline if you want the really good harvest.


To see more writing like this, check out my book, The Human Code


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