Karma: Finding The Path To Grace
As a non believer, I was a firm believer in karma. Karma was very similar to the law of three fold in the Wiccan beliefs that I firmly believed in. Karma says, you get what you deserve, and the law of three fold says, you get what you deserve back three times. Either way, I held in my heart the knowledge that the universe was holding each of us accountable to our behavior, and those that did wrong would pay a high price for it.
With those thoughts in mind, I surely had no intention to do wrong. As a matter of fact, I hated evil. Evil was against everything in my nature. It made no difference that I had a love affair with vampires and witchcraft. Those were not things that were evil; they were things that were deeply misunderstood, just as I was. So with all of my being, I set out to be the best person I could be. To never harm anyone intentionally and to do what I could to always grow and be better. I was convinced the world was full of enough evil, and so I needed to combat that by doing good.
It is very easy to see natural consequences of ones actions and call it karma. Karma, however, according to traditional Hindu and Buddhist beliefs, is not as simple as that. Karma is actually based more on the belief that whatever we do in this life determines what we will return as in during the next life. The meaning of karma has been adapted to fit a wider audience of this world. That is because karma in itself is a twisted ideology based on a world run and ruled by many gods and goddesses. These deities have no real concern for humans, or this world, except to keep them living up to their expected standards of behaviors and worship.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
The devil would love us to keep in line with this way of living. If we are ever striving to be better and do better, then we are focused completely on ourselves, our behavior, and the actions of others around us. There is no need for grace or mercy, and we give over judgement to this failed universal law of karma. If karma is going to ultimately judge others, then we have no need to worry about anyone but ourselves. What we don’t realize is that while our actions do have importance in this life, there are far more important values than being “good” or “bad”.
Consequences in life are a natural occurrence. It’s the basic law of cause and effect. However, the Bible teaches us about God’s grace. God’s grace is a miracle of His loving kindness. Whether you believe in the God of the Bible or not, you can be sure that you will meet Him on the Day of Judgement and be held accountable for your actions. The difference between karma and grace is, karma leads us to live a life based on works, and grace leads us to a life of submission and humility.
We serve a holy God; a God that is so good and righteous that He is unable to sin or do evil. Yet even though we are created in His image, we have chosen sin over God, over and over again. We have to be held accountable to these sins, for sure. However, the goodness and righteousness of God far surpasses our human understanding. While we would render judgement on the first act of evil we saw, God instead gave us mercy. His mercy and compassion was so great, it lead Him from His place in heaven on the throne, to the womb of a mortal woman.
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
We have all fallen short of the glory of God. We have all turned our backs on Him and decided it was better to make our own way. As much as that grieved our Father in Heaven, He was unwilling to do the same for us. God made a way to connect with us when there was none. Through Jesus Christ we are able to have a sustainable and real relationship, coming into the most holiest of places: the throne room of God.
Why should a people who have hated God, perpetrated evil and terrible crimes against others, even to the point of taking lives, be given any grace whatsoever? If it was up to the universe and karma, we would all be on our way to hell with no chance of redemption. Thank God that is not the way love works. Our Father is a God of love. It was through love He created the universe and all that lay in it, and it was in love He breathed life into man. It was with love He has guided each of us our entire lives, and it is with love Jesus died as that redemption for our sins we never deserved. I cannot think of any thing so great as the love of God that held me and accepted me just as I was.
We are not here in this life to be good. We are not here on this earth to try the best we can. We are here for one purpose; love. Love brought us to life and gave us a chance to know our Creator in deeper and more intimate ways. Try as we might to do good or be good, we are always going to fail somewhere. Thankfully our Father is going to be right there, every step of the way, to pick us up and and help heal our wounds. He is a good, good Father.
As we each come into the understanding of the truth of who God is, I pray that He opens our hearts to fully receive His love. So many of us are so broken and ashamed, feeling too unworthy to even accept the love of God. Our Father is waiting for you right now, waiting to wash you from all of your sin and shame, wanting nothing more than to welcome into His arms for all eternity. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done in this life, it only matters that you say ‘yes’.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.