THE CHRISTIAN KARMA

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THE CHRISTIAN KARMA

The term ‘karma’ has been around for a long time in Asia and recently, it has been gaining traction elsewhere as well. Like loyalty programs from a departmental store, karma, in the minds of most, function on a points system. The more ‘good’ things you do, the more ‘karma points’ you get and you can exchange your karma points for rewards along the way; or you could choose to accumulate your ‘karma points’ for a better after-life. So simply put, suffer now, enjoy later.

But have you ever wondered if Christians have our own ‘karma points’ system?

“For this is your calling—to do good and one day to inherit all the goodness of God.” 1 Peter 3:9 [PHILLIPS]

Taken out of context, this verse certainly seems to suggest so, doesn’t it? We Christians are called to do good and one day, to turn in all our ‘karma points’ at God’s great redemption counter in the sky so that we can exchange them for our inheritance. And perhaps we might even be able to make small withdrawals along the way. When we need a new car, or a new house, or a new handbag, maybe we could even try exchanging these ‘karma points’ through prayer, right?

Well, no. The love of our Father does not work that way. He is not a fairground operator and Jesus does not run the coupons exchange booth. When it comes to our inheritance, Jesus is very clear.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3

That is why Peter can say,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5

And as for our daily needs and necessities, Jesus could not be clearer.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

For us who have put our trust in Jesus, we don’t need ‘karma points’ to get blessed. We get blessed because our trust in Jesus makes us children of The One who created heaven and earth, for it is said,

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13

So as God’s children, we don’t need to earn our blessings. It is our Father’s good pleasure to give them to us, as Jesus said.

“Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!” Luke 12:32 [AMP]

So in the here and now, nothing should alarm us nor strike us with fear. For it is our Father’s good pleasure to look after us.

Then why should we bother to do good? Well, beloved, have you ever wanted a cheat sheet on doing well in life? Have you ever wondered just what you need to do in order to live life happy and content? Well, for us, doing good and being a blessing to others are the very things that our Father says we should do so that we can live a peaceful and joyous life, a life that will keep us happy and content even during the hardest of times. Let’s see why.

“Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.” Psalm 34:12-16

Don’t look at this from a religious perspective for now and just think about this passage from a logical point of view. If you don’t speak evil, if you do not lie, if you don’t do evil; if you only seek peace and peaceably resolve all conflicts, pray tell, who can fault you? Indeed, Peter himself says,

“…who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?” 1 Peter 3:13

Never mind follow good, just think about doing the good. For isn’t it true that,

“After all, who in the ordinary way is likely to injure you for being enthusiastic for good?” 1 Peter 3:13 [PHILLIPS]

Who, indeed, will find fault with you and injure you if they have been rightly treated by you? And as long as you continue in this fashion,

“If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped?” 1 Peter 3:13 [MSG]

Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? For us, we get good not because we do good. We get good because our Father loves us. And so it follows that we are able to do good because we have already gotten good from our Father.

Indeed, “Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick….” 1 Peter 3:16 [MSG]

For truly, “…They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath.” 1 Peter 3:16 [MSG]

You see, beloved, we are not merely members of God’s fan club. We are family. So when we go out there into the world, we are ambassadors of His grace, love and mercy. In us and through our lives, all those looking in will see just how wonderful a Father we have and that is why we should

“Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.” 1 Peter 3:15 [MSG]

Beloved, think about this logically. When the world looks at us, our actions reflect our upbringing. If we are well-heeled and polished, courteous and considerate, it shows that our parents have brought us up well, taught us well, provided for us the best opportunities and given us the best environment. So when we profess to be our Father’s children, who will we be a reflection of?

And here lies the secret. Do you think that our Father will abandon you in your darkest moments and leave you alone to fend for yourself? Even if He were to be the most selfish tyrant around, it would be a public relations disaster. Now what more knowing that He is your loving Father?

Peter tells us that we should “...Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15 [AMP]

And how, pray tell, do you give a logical defense if you are broken and broke? You have faith, but the world will not understand your faith because it has not faith. The only way you can give an account for the hope and confident assurance elicited by the faith that is within you to the world, is to base your faith on what has been done in your life. So the fact that you can be generous in your heart to do the good that you have been doing, that proves beyond a shadow of doubt, that you have received concrete and tangible blessings of provision and protection from our Father; and your faith is nothing more than knowing that there is plenty more where all that came from.

Beloved, the Christian karma does not tell us to do good in order to get good. For us, we do good because we have already gotten good. So get out there and

“…be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9

Declare to the world just how good your Father has been and remind yourself that no matter what troubles may come your way, there’s plenty more of our Father’s blessings, provision and protection for you, because He loves you always.

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