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Jamaica Patois Wisdom - Consequences

by Jefferson David Tant

The Jamaican Patois dialect is colorful, unique and humorous. It is my desire to share some of the philosophy shown in this mix of colorful phrases that are witty as well as thought-provoking. I hope the readers both profit and enjoy. In my quarter-century plus of teaching there, I have come to appreciate some things about their culture.

 

Patois: Yu caan sow corn an expect fi reap peas
English: You cannot sow corn seeds and expect to reap peas
Meaning: Do not be surprised by the logical result of your past action

The Jamaican Patois is a few hundred years old, but further back in history we note a phrase written in Greek 2,000 years ago. The English translation is found in Galatians 6:7-8: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

It is odd that this truth is respected in many aspects of life, but often ignored in the spiritual realm. Why? Because Satan has lied to us. In Eden’s garden he questioned Eve. “Has God said you can’t eat any of the fruit in the garden?” “Oh, no. God said we could eat of any fruit except from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He said we would die if we ate of it.” Then Satan replied, “Oh, don’t believe God. You won’t die!” (Paraphrased from Genesis 3:1-4). We all know what happened. Adam and Eve died! They died spiritually that day, for sin separated them from God (Isaiah 59:2), and finally they died physically.

We have to admit that sin is attractive. Eve looked at the forbidden fruit, and saw that it looked good and tasty, and Satan told her it would make her extremely wise—as wise as God. But the reality is that Satan lied to Eve, and has lied to mankind ever since. Christ said of him: “Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

What drug addict ever imagined a life so bad that he cannot live without another “fix,” even if he has to lie, rob or kill to get it? What embezzler ever envisioned ending up in prison as the penalty for stealing to support a luxurious life-style? What teenage girl ever thought she would end up pregnant and then com-mit murder to get rid of an “inconvenient” baby through an abortion just because she thought sex would be fun? What young man ever thought he would end up getting an STD just because he wanted to satisfy the desires of the flesh? What alcoholic ever thought he would kill or be killed in a drunken auto crash?

We all want to be wise, and true wisdom pays heed to the warning, “Be not deceived. God is not mocked …” Indeed, if we planted corn seed and grew a crop of peas, we would have mocked God, but we know that is not going to happen. And we cannot expect to reap good when we sow to the flesh—when we sow sin. Oh, the bad consequences may not be immediate, but they will come! We may hide sin from others, and may even deceive ourselves, but the truth will come out one day. “For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

Sometimes the young think they can sow their wild oats, and then turn to God when they are older. There are two problems with this.

  1. The young also die, and
  2. Habits formed in youth can be hard to break.

True wisdom does not believe lies, and by believing and obeying truth, will avoid the consequences that sin inevitably brings—sorrow, pain, regret, disease, death, and finally “who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (II Thessalonians 1:9).

How thankful we are for redemption and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, but how much better life would be if we didn’t fall into Satan’s trap in the first place. The man who falls into a pit and breaks his leg may be rescued, but wouldn’t it have been better if he had watched his steps in the first place?