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TTWMN 116: Karma vs Grace (Part 1)

I found an interesting article the other day, which tried to make the point that grace – that widely available unmerited favor of God – was way better than karma, which intransigently gives you exactly what you deserve.  That got me thinking though, what about the law of sowing and reaping? Isn’t grace more than just that unmerited favor we hear so much about? And isn’t it only available to Christians?  The article did get one thing right: the idea of karma and wrong – or at best incomplete ideas of – grace have indeed crept into our churches and our psyche, and it’s time to get it out!

Part 2 in the Karma vs Grace series

 

Even believers tend to think our sin brings punishment by bad things that happen to us. (ie. Nancy’s rebuke from a worship team leader for thinking recent problems were a result of something she had done wrong: “Okay, Karma Girl.”)

Okay, Karma Girl. Click To Tweet

Sharing a recent experience when Mike and Nancy’s “spiritual daughter” was dying due to a complication from minor outpatient surgery provided an opportunity to witness to a friend who is Sikh, discussing difference between karma and belonging to Christ.

In the hospital room of that same “daughter”, discussing the incident with a pastor who said, “Oh, absolutely karma is in the Bible.”

 

Really? Can you show me?

 

Biblical principle of sowing & reaping

Job 4:7-9 (Eliphaz speaking to Job)

“Remember: who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off? As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. By the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of his anger they are consumed.”

 

Prov 22:8 | Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail.

2 Cor 9:6 | The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

Galatians 6:7-10 | Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he 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. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

 

 

But the rain falls on the wicked and the good

Job 42:7 | After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.

 

Matt 5:44-46 | But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

Psalm 126:3-5 | The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negeb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!

Matt 6:26 | Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?