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Parable of the Sower (Stages of Change)

One of the things I am always looking for are ways to incorporate Biblical messages into the lives of the people I work with. Sometimes I can be direct, and just say John 3:16 says…. but other times I have to be a little more creative. Usually when I do, someone in the group opens the door for straight on discussion, but if not at least a little seed of God’s Word gets planted and when they start to sprout, that lesson they learned will be brought to their memory and roots will grow, as they have hopefully already started practicing it.

So tonight I was reading the parable of the sower (Matt 13:3-9; Mark 4:3-9 and Luke 8:4-8) and REVELATION!!!! My mind looked at it from the SW point of view thinking about the stages of change as I read this familiar parable, especially when looking at Jesus’ explanation in Matthew 8:19-23.

A farmer went out to sow his seed.

As a social worker I pour into people’s life information that will help them overcome problems they face. Ultimately they have to choose what to do with it, but I am merely a tool the gives them the information.

As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Jesus’ explanation was: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.

A lot of times, people are indifferent to the information being presented. They may not think it applies to them. There may be filters going on that keep them from hearing and understanding the information given. They may be physically present, but their heart and mind is closed to any lesson they might learn.

Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Jesus’ explanation was: The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

Other times people are quick to use the tools they have been presented with. People who take in everything they can in a short amount of time. They try some skills out, and like the ones that produce immediate results. However, they never learn mastery of anything, they quickly move on saying “This doesn’t work for me.” They quit before any lasting changes can be made.

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Jesus’ explanation was: The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.

Other people think they can make some changes for the good, but are unwilling to let go of things that are negative. They think they can continue certain bad habits, and that a pill or counselor will fix the rest. They allow the familiarity of the old to keep out the positive changes. They are to busy trying to hold on to the old, even when they are willing to use the new techniques they learn.

Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Jesus explained: But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Others are ready for change. They are tired of what has always been and realize that a complete change is the only thing that will bring lasting results. They realize it takes hard work, dedication and commitment. They realize that it takes time. But as they continue to work towards their goal life changes for the better!

So whether you are in counseling or not, there are always things in life that need to be changed. In stead of just closing everything off and denying there is a problem, instead of trying it for a little while and then giving it up, and instead of trying to change while still keeping the bad – commit 100%. Realize there will be season of struggle, growth and finally that good thing will spring forth and the roots will be deep enough that it becomes first nature and you can begin working on the next thing!!!!

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