Sowing Wild Oats
Proverbs 22:8
He that sows iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

In all the wide range of accepted British maxims there is none, take it for all in all, more thoroughly abominable than that "a young man must sow his wild oats." Look at it on what side you will, and you can make nothing but a devil's maxim of it. What a man — be he young, old, or middle-aged — sows, that, and nothing else, shall he reap. The one only thing to do with wild oats is to put them carefully into the hottest part of the fire, and get them burnt to dust, every seed of them. If you sow them, no matter in what ground, up they will come, with long, tough roots like couch-grass, and luxuriant stalks and leaves, assure as there is a sun in heaven — a crop which it turns one's heart cold to think of. The devil, too, whose special crop they are, will see that they thrive; and you, and nobody else, will have to reap them; and no common reaping will get them out of the soil, which must be dug down deep again and again. Well for you if, with all your care, you can make the ground sweet again by your dying day. "Boys will be boys" is not much better, but that has a true side to it; but this encouragement to the sowing of wild oats is simply devilish, for it means that a young man is to give way to the temptations and follow the lusts of his age. What are we to do with the wild oats of manhood and old age — with ambition, overreaching, the false weights, hardness, suspicion, avarice — if the wild oats of youth are to be sown, and not burnt? What possible difference can we draw between them? If we may sow the one, why not the other?

(Tom Hughes.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

WEB: He who sows wickedness reaps trouble, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed.

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