I often hear after someone has gotten their version of justice that karma is a b**ch. We secretly like that feeling when someone gets their comeuppance, (always wanted to use that in a sentence) when we think justice needs to be served. But what if the justice we want isn’t served and someone seems to be getting away with it day after day and year after year? Of course it makes us feel better to think that some cosmic force is going get them one day, but what if it doesn’t? What if that rich CEO gets his million dollar bonus while lower level employees are getting laid off? He then continues to live to the ripe old age of 90 and dies in his sleep. Of course it makes us feel better to think that in their next life there are going to come back as a worm or something. But what evidence do we have of this? Or conversely, what do we say about the 6-year-old girl who has brain cancer, or the pregnant woman who just lost her baby in the womb, or the teenage hockey player who was just paralyzed? What on earth could they have done to deserve such a punishment from a cosmic reaction to their actions? And what about all the millions of people who are born into poverty; were they all that evil in some past life? What of the ruling class who seem to control and lord their power over so many? Were they so great in their past life that they came back in the next life with power just to abuse it and start all over again? And who or what decides what is right or wrong to deserve such justice? Doesn’t there need to be some sort of absolute truth to determine what is right and wrong? What are the rules that govern Karma; how do we know how to live? Are we just subject to the whims of the universe to decide when and how we are to be punished for something we may or may not have done wrong? The Bible, on the other hand, is very clear on how we should live. There is a standard set to know the difference of what is expected of us to do or not to do. The very basic principle of this is the 10 commandments. This is loosely called “the Law”. There is more to it than this, but for arguments sake we’ll go with it. We are given 10 rules in which God wants us to live. This is the standard in which we know what is expected of us. So the next logical question is what happens when we break God’s law. This is what the Bible calls a sin. In the Bible it says, “For the wages of sin is death.” This sounds pretty bad; maybe karma isn’t so bad after all? But if we continue with the second half of that verse it says, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” So we have a standard in which to live by, which is really, really hard or impossible, you could say. And if we don’t get it right the one who makes the rules tells us specifically what our punishment is, but then gives us an out. It says in Gal3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” Redeemed simply means to pay our debt. (Sometimes I wish that were my credit card debt too,) but I digress. Another way of saying this is 2Co 5:21, “For our sake he made him(Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness(Perfectness) of God.” The next question should be to ask: “how do we get this get out of jail free card?” I’m glad you asked, in 1Jn 1:9 it says “If we confess(admit) our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” yep, it’s that easy. I know I may have lost some of you here and if you want to know more about this just ask me, either through comment or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether or not we believe in Karma, many of us live our lives according to those standards. That if we do good we get good, and if we do bad then we will get bad. This idea is not contrary of what the bible teaches. There are verses that speak about this (Gal 6:7-9) one being, “we sow what we reap,” meaning there are consequences to our actions. Obviously if you stick your hand in fire, it will get burned. So there is some basis for the belief in a karma, like system in that it seems to make sense sometimes. But the problems with it is the lack of absolute moral standards, the ambiguity of what is the exact punishment to a particular misdeed, and who or what decides your punishment.
I believe that there is a God who answers all of these questions. That period of time when we think it is taking too long for someone to get their judgement, is when God is displaying patience with us. Psa 145:8 “The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” He gives us time to repent before serving us and others justice. This is seen in 2Pe 3:9 “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
I know there is much more to say on this topic, but these are just some of my thoughts on it and would love to hear your thoughts are on it, and why you believe what you believe.