Posts Tagged ‘Karma’

Could it be Karma?

Another great guest post from our good friend in Kampala…


Could this day get any worse? I woke up late. I missed an appointment and with that all my other engagements for the day were affected. The car broke down as I rushed to meet someone else. I have to incur charges for the tow truck and the garage run that I did not budget for. As I sit on the kerb to reflect my mind quickly highlights how all this could have fallen in place. That beggar I ignored yesterday – why didn’t I give him the change I had in my pocket? Or that pedestrian I splashed muddy water on as I sped off to a meeting.

It’s common for all of us to go through life wondering if something we did in the past will come back to haunt us. “Is the calamity that has befallen me today a result of something bad I did yesterday?” “Had I treated that stranger better, maybe this would not have happened to me!”

It’s very easy for us to connect the bad, negative and disastrous occurrences back to a moment in time when we fell short or didn’t do the right thing. No, I am not talking of consequences that come our way as a result of our sin. I am talking of the usually random events in our lives that are sad that we think we have “earned” through something bad we did.

It’s all written into our culture: “What goes around comes around.” “For every action there is an equal but opposite reaction.” “You reap what you sow.”

We go as far as thinking that whatever force it is that controls the universe is out there keeping a scorecard noting all good and evil then going on to balance them out. So we have notions of God going around like the grim reaper running after us to slay us. Or maybe we picture Him to be the anarchist who spins his wheel to pick what calamity to send upon individuals.
But does God relentlessly pursue us dishing out calamity upon us to repay us for our evil deeds? Or should we attribute these occurrences to the mystical karma – surely every good deed will earn us good fortune yet an evil deed will earn us bad luck and calamity will befall us?!


Did Job think to himself, “I should have treated that servant better otherwise this would not have happened to me?” Or when Joseph got thrown in the well and later got sold off as a slave, did he look back and wonder, “I should not have been such a show-off with the jacket daddy gave me! See what being a show-off has gotten me into.”

We have gotten used to living the good life, everything falls into place, it’s smooth sailing all the way, the trajectory is impeccable – we are headed for the stars. But what happens when the good life is ground to a halt by sad moments – death of a loved one, a business deal going sour, a friend falling sick, getting robbed or failing an exam?

Does every good deed reap a reward? Is every bad deed repaid by another by the mystic force that controls the universe? Is the suffering I face a result of something I did? Is this just bad karma?

Job’s friends gave him advice along those lines. “Job, admit it! You wronged God and now He is repaying you.” Our thinking and that of our contemporaries is not so far from this but should Christians have this same mindset?

Do we who have been redeemed by the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross at Calvary continue to live our lives worried that God or karma or some mystic force in charge of the universe is chasing us down to inflict upon us suffering just to make up for our sin and the bad deeds we are doing?

Yet I suppose many people, Christians too, go through life living like this – the guilt from the past deeds weighing heavily on them and any sad event, trial or moment of suffering is immediately matched to the events the guilt arose from.

What then became of the forgiveness we received at the cross? Was it partial? Was it for a limited time only? Was it only for the age to come? When Isaiah foretold the sufferings of the Servant that would bring about the taking away of the sins of the people, did he not see the sufferings as a punishment for the sins of the people? Was God going to continue to pursue the people and bring more punishment upon the people for their sins?

Dead come Alive Cross

Trying to justify or pinpoint the source of our suffering is usually a very good attempt at trying to wrestle control of the situation into our hands out of God’s. Suffering is not in our control.

Like Job we should patiently endure moments of suffering. Attributing moments of suffering to something from the past will not help us and will only serve to deepen the pain. In this broken world, suffering will definitely come our way but we have hope in Jesus.

Rather than going into denial or escapism when confronted by suffering we should remember that God Himself is there with us in our suffering. The people of God have never been spared from suffering or shielded from the brokenness of the world. But we can take comfort from knowing God Himself experienced the greatest of suffering and can relate to our situations. And He comforts us. God is our redeemer and He is the One that will rescue us from this broken world.


Bernie muluuBernard Muluuta is an iServe Africa and Cornhill London alumnus now working with the Church of Uganda developing mentoring and gospel ministry training for young people.

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