Should Christians Believe In Karma?

Should Christians believe in karma? I have heard some Christians say that it is the same concept as sowing and reaping that the Bible teaches. But, is it really the same? Today I will explain why Christians should not believe in karma, or even use it as a figure of speech. Our words are powerful, and though we may mean it in jest, we must be aware of what we are speaking forth.

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I hear quite regularly from people who consider themselves to be followers of Christ comments like:

“Well that’s karma for ya.”

“She had that coming.”

“Karma is a @$&*#”

 

What is Karma?

Karma is a principle of Buddhism and Hinduism stating that the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, decide their fate in the future, or future existences. An informal definition, might simplify it down to say that for each action there is an equal reaction. For example karma says, if you slapped an innocent person in the face, the same sort of incident, or “negative” action would happen to you. A negative action, when you are innocent. OR on the other hand, you gave water to a thirsty person when you didn’t have to, then you would have something “good” happen to you.

 

Christ’s teaching

The Bible teaches the believer through many agricultural illustrations. One such illustration is the concept of sowing and reaping. Essentially what you plant, you will reap a harvest of it. We see this through scriptures such as Matthew 13, Galatians 6:7-9, 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, as well as others. Sowing and reaping sounds similar to karma doesn’t it? While, the Biblical concept of sowing and reaping may sound similar, it actually has a few differences that make a major difference in the theologies.

 

What’s the difference?

There are a few things that a believer has to understand about the principle of sowing and reaping.

  • You may sow, and reap a harvest 30, 60, or even 100 fold from what you planted. This means you may actually get way more than what you sowed or “deserved.”
  • You may actually sow and get very little to nothing in return. How many times have you done a “good deed” with no return? We should not do our good deeds based on what we will get back. In understanding agriculture, you must realize that many factors come into play: moisture, soil makeup, temperatures, pests, etc. that can affect what kind of return you get. It really isn’t as simple as plant and harvest, do and get.
  • “He causes His sun to rise on theevil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” – Matthew 5:45 Just because you are “good” doesn’t mean that bad things will not happen to you, or vice versa. Good and bad things will happen to all of us. You may not always “get what you deserve” whether that is good or bad.
  • Finally, you may harvest in a place where you never sowed. There are stories in the Bible where men reaped, in a way that they never sowed. An example today would be of a child with a poor work ethic, lack of education, etc receiving an inheritance that they never worked for.

 

The trump card

As a believer there is what I would call a trump card to karma, and that goes by a 5-letter title called GRACE. Grace provides for the believer the replacement for what we “deserve.” If you believe in karma as a believer, you completely nullify God’s grace in your own life, as well as being lived out through your life to others.

One example might be if you were speeding down the highway and get pulled over. You deserve a ticket correct? You broke the law, therefore you deserve a ticket, but instead the officer let’s you off with a warning or even simply a verbal warning. This is grace in action, which nullifies karma.

When someone does you harm, Christ calls us to 1. Turn the other cheek, and 2. To forgive them 70×7 times. This is living out grace in your life. When people mess up, you show them grace. When we say “they will get what they deserve” we completely nullify God’s grace.

If you are a believer I highly encourage you to no longer adhere to the tenants of karma, but rather live by the power of grace. I know it is a “figure of speech” that is highly popular these days, but as a follower of Christ you should not believe in karma. Change your thinking, change your speech, and it will change your understanding of God’s grace to us.

When was a time that you experienced grace in your life, and didn’t get what you deserved; or you had a greater harvest than you “should” have? Let me know in the comments below.

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6 thoughts on “Should Christians Believe In Karma?

  1. I like that Daniel I’m not much into Buddhisms or Hinduism or any of those other ismss.And I don’t think we should use their terminologya a lot of religion take a piece of the truth and add something to it.But the truth of the matter is if you take anything that’s is the truth and add something that is not the truth it’s no longer the truth.If we stick just to the terminology of the Bible we can live a life of truth and the truth will set you free.

  2. I agree, we do not get what we deserve (thank you Jesus!) We are all given grace. Karma is a fleshly desire to see people inflicted with the pain we have gone through. It is not the kingdom way. BUT there are times our flesh rises up and we wish we were driving that karma bus!!!

  3. Thank you for this blog post! I recently had a coworker who lives both in fear of what she believes karma will do to her and often references karma almost as a curse or revenge on anyone she believes has wronged her or her friends. It bothered me at the time, but I couldn’t quite figure it. What a difference God’s Grace, Mercy and Compassion makes in our lives.

    • Celia, you’re welcome. I think the term and concept of karma has become an everyday norm, and most people don’t even think about the spiritual concept involved with it. Yes, God’s grace, mercy, and compassion makes quite a difference!

  4. While I am not arguing for or against your position as it has valid points, it also has flaws. Karma is hard to define indeed and one should not expect an immediate reaction as it is more collective. One could argue that life as a Christian is karma with a get out of hell card at the end if you repent, thus cancelling karma. However, with karma as with many belief systems it has to be all or nothing. You can’t selectively apply karma which is what most people do. If somebody has something great happen and an infant gets hit and killed by stray bullet those both have to be karma. Otherwise it is just selectively applying our own filters. The Bible also has the same analogy to the constitution which it can be interrupted to support almost any set of beliefs. Why is it necessary to do this? Do we not have the ability to handle the idea that stuff happens and we have a choice on how we react and what we do with it? Why do we seek outside guidance where we can cultivate all of that ourselves?

    • John, thanks for stopping by and sharing a different view! I see your point. You are right, many times people want to selectively apply the karma card when it suits their need, but fail to at other times. — It is true, you can interpret the Bible to support almost any belief, hence the reason we have however many thousands of denominations. (smh) Overall the core of the Christ story is that God desires relationship with us. Western Christianity has turned it into a “get out of hell free” card, instead of promoting the pillars of God’s eternal purpose which go way beyond a “spiritual fire insurance policy.” — You are right, stuff happens to us. “The rain falls on the just and the unjust.” As believers, our mission is to see the eternal value in difficult situations. If we are truly seeking the deeper things of Christ, we will see that those difficulties are the master stone mason shaping us as living stones to be built into a house for God. How we react to the situations determines our character. The outside guidance is the desire to bring glory to Christ in all things.