I’m amazed at the amount of Facebook posts that I see about karma. They often come from people who are angry about what someone else has done. They hope someone else is punished for the injustice that was done to them or perceived to have been done to them. Does karma exist? What should the Christian believe about karma?
I was originally going to write about karma in the sense of talking about the ideas of Christianity versus Buddhism. First, I realized talking to my Buddhist friend that I knew very little of Buddhism, at least in great detail. Second, I know that most of my friends and readers are not as much into Buddhism, but do talk about the idea of karma. So, my reference to karma in this article will be the Americanized sense and understanding of it.
Within the Christian worldview there is one way karma does exist and another way it does not. The first thing we need to do is define our terms. What is karma? Specifically karma is that idea or belief that if you do bad things now, bad things will happen to you in the future. Or good will come as a result of good.
What does Scripture say about this idea. You may have heard the phrase “you reap what you sow.” That is a Christian worldview taken from Galatians 6:7, Job 4:8, and other passages. There are times when someone sins and there are natural consequences for it. Then there are times that somebody does something good and there are natural benefits of it.
What the Christian needs to be careful of is the motive for doing things only to reap rewards. The glory of God is our foremost desire (I Corinthians 10:31). We should know that good deeds and the blessings that follow are not always directly connected. In other words, there are times when the wicked seem to prosper and the righteous seem to be the losers. This can be the case. But Jesus reminds us who are the real winners in the end. For reference in relation to this read Psalm 37.
Generosity with money does not guarantee you will receive money back necessarily. Maybe God will bless you in other ways with things like good friends or other non-material blessings. The blessings may even be in the next life in the New Heaven and the New Earth. The blessing is often being found in God Himself and that He is there for you.
Most important is the understanding that there is a way to avoid eternal karma. We have all done sinful and bad things. Karma states that you get what you deserve. You are punished for your bad deeds. Christianity believes that Jesus got what you deserved. He breaks karma in the sense that instead of eternally paying for your sins, you can be covered under His forgiveness.
I Peter 2:24 says, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the Tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.” The cross is greater than karma. Karma gives you what you deserve, Jesus takes the punishment for what you deserved. Jesus is the karma-breaker.
We have all sinned and sin needs to be punished. Scripture states that if you believe that Jesus is God, that He lived a perfect life, that He died on the cross and rose again, and that His blood paid for your sin – it doesn’t matter how many bad things you have done in the past, the blood of Jesus covers it all. It is not a license to sin in the future. What it is is the fact that karma is stopped. Jesus suffered on the cross in your place. Christianity is a much better deal than karma can ever offer. Forgiveness because of the love of God trumps karma.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.