Karma. The law of cause and effect. Hinduism and Buddhism claim it determines your destiny. In essence, you determine your destiny. Good choices lead to good things. Bad choices lead to . . . well, good luck with that.
Sadly, the church has bought into karma. Does the Bible speak of consequences? Of course, it does (Galatians 6:7). But natural consequences do not determine my destiny. Natural consequences can make my life smoother or a whole lot harder, but determine my destiny? Not a chance.
Here’s the issue with karma:
- Karma’s influence on the church creates a mindset of works. If I (go to church, give, volunteer, read my Bible, try to be good), God will (help me, protect me, heal me, bless me, prosper me). But what does Scripture say? Isaiah 64:6 reads, “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” Matthew 7:11 says, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
- Karma’s influence causes the church to stagger when life deals a tough blow. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Jesus told us bad stuff would happen. We’re shocked because we think it won’t, or shouldn’t, happen to us—but it does.
- Karma’s influence also creates an expectation of cutting a deal with God, a special arrangement just for me. I did _____, so I deserve _________. We see the same thing with the Jews in the New Testament. Paul touches on it in Romans 9:14-16, “What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” God is sovereign. Period. End of discussion.
Mercy. Grace. Forgiveness. These determine my destiny. Truth gets shouted down in the culture clamor. We see karma everywhere. Serves you right. You get what you deserve. We can’t wait for the bad guy to get it in the end.
The problem is: We’re all bad guys.
God, in His grace, sent His Son to change that. To die for our sin and to make us holy.
Karma? You can keep it. Mercy. Grace. Forgiveness. These mark my destiny. What marks yours?
Workout for the Week: Christian Karma, Part 1
Memory Verse: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11
Meditation Passage: Romans 8:28-39
Just Do It: Kick karma to the curb.