I have never understood the overuse of the word karma. People use it ALL the time on facebook and it drives me a little nutty. Karma does NOT exist.
Before I really get into it and why it is a BAD thing to believe in karma... Let us first look at the definition and origin.
This is from >>The Free Dictionary<<
Now for a little more info, let's look at >>Wikipedia's explanation of karma<<kar·ma (kärm)
1. Hinduism & Buddhism The total effect of a person's actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person's existence, regarded as determining the person's destiny.
2. Fate; destiny.
The original idea of karma had to do with reincarnation. This has a LOT to do with Buddhist and Hindu religions. Basically, how you lived your life would effect how you would start your next life. I mean no disrespect to those that believe in reincarnation but, this is just not something that happens. Reincarnation does not exist. It never has. Doesn't make any sense how it could. But, people do believe in it.
At any rate, this was the original use of the word.
People today use the word to say "you get what you deserve". That IS the attitude of a LOT of people today. This is not quite the meaning of the word karma. And you can bet money that the people that originally used the word... and the people that today STILL use the word accurately, they do NOT look at people and say "oh yeah, they're going to get what's coming to them."
No... that feeling... that desire for someone to be punished for their deeds... that feeling has NO place in any religion that I am aware of. All the religions I know of talk about peace and forgiveness. Our worldly idea of karma has no place there.
Now, why I personally am offended and/or upset at the common use of the word.
It is hateful. Yes, you heard me right. It is a hateful thing to look at other people and wish, hope, and pray for them to fall on their face or something. That IS hateful. It's disgusting. I find it offensive.
Why? Hopefully I can explain that with some more information.
You see, I have always known that the idea most people call "karma" is something, an attitude, that goes against what the bible teaches. And a LOT of people I see using the word or even expressing those emotions are Christians. "Karma" is NOT what God wants for you. Let me look at a few bible verses to go over why I believe that karma is a bad idea and a word you need to STOP using.
I googled "What does the bible say about karma" and found a list of verses... Let's look at a few of them.
I'll start with a couple of verses that MIGHT suggest there is some truth to the idea we call karma. ( I urge you to read the surrounding verses to get a better understanding of each use)
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
You see? People ARE judged... People do get what they deserve?
Those verses are not meant for us to hold over people. Those verses are there for US... for our own knowledge and correction. WE need to know that there are indeed consequences for our actions. WE are the ones we need to worry about. Why us? It's all those other people that deserve.............. what? deserve what? Them? not you? Let's look at a couple of other verses...
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
That right there should be enough to shake you, at least a little. Yes... we ALL sin. And guess what... that means we ALL deserve death. But the gift of God.......... it's a gift. Not one of us has EARNED it by our good deeds.
What I'm getting at is that we are ALL guilty... not one of us is more deserving of God's grace. Not one of us is better than another. When you use the word karma and sit there hoping for someone else to be punished, you are saying that they are less deserving of God's grace than you are. That's not what you meant? I'm sure it's not, but it is more or less what it is.
Look at Jonah. He refused to offer forgiveness to an entire people group because he felt they weren't deserving. Even after he went there and shared God's message AND the people repented... Jonah still sat and waited to see them punished.
That story is quite often used for people to think about how they can be given a second chance. YAY, God's going to give me a second chance... awesome. That's one part of the story that people get out of it. Another part is that if you don't do what God calls you to do you might end up stuck in a whale. Figuratively of course... but that is a HUGE lesson that is taken away.
What is often ignored is what I mentioned a moment ago. Jonah... How did he act even AFTER the people repented and God forgave them? Jonah was still waiting for God's wrath as those people had done some EVIL stuff... and really did "deserve" God's wrath. But God loved them and forgave them.
Am I making sense yet? Are you seeing where I'm going with this?
I see people throwing bible verses around about judging others... pretty much they only share those verses when they don't want people to look at THEIR mistakes or wrongdoings. Truthfully, the bible does not forbid judging sin or actions. What the bible FORBIDS is judging a person... their character... who they are... and most importantly, their "fate". THAT IS forbidden.
But many people will sit around telling people not to judge, not to throw stones at them because of their drinking habit or some other failing... and at the same time they will themselves condemn someone for doing them wrong. "Oh, you can't judge me" they'll say... and then they'll look at someone that cheated them or lied to them(or whatever) and they'll say "karma" or "I hope they get hit by a car" or some other drastic thought.
How can you hold yourself to such a different standard than everyone else? Nobody is allowed to even LOOK at your flaws... but you think you should be able to pass such harsh judgment on another that you're ready to see them punished?
Think about it.
How many verses do I need to share to explain how the idea of karma is a bad one... and not one that we should play around with.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Jesus himself did not come to CONDEMN people... Why do we think we have that right?
Here is a link with all sorts of verses that could address the idea of karma. There are a LOT of them... and I hope you'll study at least a few. Consider the verses that DO talk about the consequences of OUR sins... but also pay close attention to the verses that tell us how we are to live... how we are to LOVE...
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Why does the idea of karma upset me so much? I hope you already understand based on what I've said so far but I'd like to share a story...
Some years ago, sometime in the late 1990's, I was at a minor league baseball game with some people from church. The Lowell Spinners were playing.
Some of these people I was sitting with I did not know. While watching the game, I saw someone with a marylin manson shirt on that was kind of disgusting. I started talking to these two guys about it and how it reminded me of a kid I sort of knew in high school. This kid listened to some HEAVY metal music, including some fairly nasty stuff... the band names alone were rather upsetting... Cannibal Corpse? One of the bands was called deicide. One shirt he had said
So while sitting here at this ball game, I was upset. How dare anyone have such an opinion of MY God. So, I said to these guys "I hope that kid gets to wear that t-shirt when he meets God some day"Deicide; to kill god and all who are holy
One of the young men said "that's not a good attitude, I hope he finds Christ"
Wow... I was put in my place... I was humbled. That moment has stuck with me ever since... and ever since, I have tried to look at people differently. It is not always easy... and yes, it upsets me when people do bad things. But, I do my best to remember MY place... it's not my job to judge in that way... and remember MY sin... MY shortcomings... What punishment do I deserve...
How could I ever dare to say who deserves what in life? How? Am I not the guilty one? Am I better than them?
One of the often misused verses in the bible about judging others says that the measure we use to judge others is going to be used against us. Ouch... are we ready for that?
So... yes... the idea of "karma" is upsetting to me. It is most upsetting when I see people who are Christians have that attitude towards the people they are COMMANDED to love. That is NOT love. Not in the least.
Every day on facebook I see people upset over some injustice in the world. I see stories of someone that abused a dog... and then people RANTING on and on about how that person deserves to be treated the way the dog was treated. Now, that verse that says we'll be judged by the same measure... hmmm... think of EVERY last sin you've ever committed... By such standards... by the eye for an eye attitude so many often have... what would be YOUR fair punishment? Could you even withstand it?
The other day a 2 year old child died here in Northwest Arkansas when his great-grandparents forgot he was in the car and went into a mall shopping. (that's at least what the story says so far, they forgot he was there). You should be able to imagine the kind of replies that news story is getting right now. All sorts of people practically foaming at the mouth just waiting for those two to see justice.
It was a HORRIBLE and tragic thing... But, who am I to judge? What do I even know of the story? What do I know about those two people?
You see... this sort of thing right here is the REAL meaning of the story in the bible where it says not to cast stones. SO many people use that verse to say "oh, you can't tell me what's right and wrong". That is NOT what the story is there for. Sin is SIN... wrong is wrong. People CAN judge acts... people CAN judge sins. People CAN try to correct your actions if you're doing wrong.
What they can't do is punish you for it.
You see... that person that was about to be stoned to death... they DID do something that in their culture at that time... a stoning was normal. It was what was expected. It was the punishment.
Everyone there was ready to throw stones because that person WAS guilty.
Jesus didn't say "hey, they can do whatever they want, you can't judge them"
No... what He wanted everyone there to realize was that THEY too were ALL guilty. We're ALL guilty of quite a bit. We've all hurt someone else. We've all lied... We've all done some horrible things in mind and deed... The idea wasn't that the actions shouldn't be judged... the idea was that "who should throw that first stone" since everyone there likely deserved some sort of punishment as well.
There's SO much the bible teaches on this. Love your neighbors... don't think too much of yourself... love your enemies... turn the other cheek... it goes on and on.
So, next time your ex-friend calls you a bad name, talks behind your back, steals from you... or someone does something horrific... next time you see an injustice that you think is deserving of ETERNAL DAMNATION... Stop yourself right there.
Are YOU showing love in your thoughts and/or actions? Are you less guilty than them? Are they less deserving of God's grace and forgiveness?
Instead of hating them, cursing them, judging them... Try loving them... Try forgiving them...
Hey... for anyone that has read this far... All bible stuff aside for a moment... Hate and bad feelings hurt YOU more than they do anyone else. You only destroy yourself when you hate someone... and bitterness... oh man, that eats at you. It is a sickness... So, if you aren't prepared to hear my thoughts from the bible... and aren't prepared to forgive someone for their sake... do it for YOURS. In all seriousness, this idea of karma is bad for YOUR health. No joke whatsoever there.