Is karma mentioned in the Bible? Karma is the theory that, “what goes around comes around.” Karma says, “If you do something bad today, something bad will happen to you tomorrow.” Some even have karma as a picture of a beaver being killed by a tree because beaver cut down trees all the time. The Christian idea of karma is the often quoted phrase, “what you sow is what you reap.” They believe that if you sow a bad deed, you will reap a bad deed, but is this really Biblical?
Don’t Build a Doctrine on One Verse
The word karma is not mentioned in the bible, but still some Christians hang on to the old covenant verse about sowing and reaping. To first understand if this is a part of the New Covenant, we need to gather up all of the New Covenant scriptures. So, let’s go! I am going to list all of the scriptures below…
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. – Galatians 6:7-8
There is one verse in the New Testament that is about sowing and reaping. This is interesting because you would think the Bible would have more scripture on this, for all of the sermons on this.
So, what is the context of this verse about? Verse 6, 9, and 10 are all talking about blessing especially those who are the household of faith (Pastors, etc.) and those who are teachers of the Bible (Pastors, etc.). People often wonder, why should I give to the church (organization)? It is because if we did not, the Pastors would not have food to eat. They (Pastors) would have to find a 2nd job, and the Sunday messages would decrease in value because they were busy working all week and not preparing a sermon. That is one of the reasons we give offerings/tithes to the church. Joseph Prince had a great opinion on this, in his book “Unmerited Favor.”
“Don’t allow anyone to confuse you with faulty interpretations of the Word. The context of Galatians 6:7-8 is about sowing and reaping money. The verses before and after (verse 6 and verses 9 and 10) clearly show that the context is talking about blessing the teachers of God’s Word with all good things, and blessing the household of faith. Hence, sowing to the flesh here refers to using money for self-indulgence instead of being generous for the kingdom of God. The verse is saying that sowing money to indulge oneself leads to results that can decay, whereas sowing money into the kingdom leads to results that are eternal” (Prince 173).
People quote Hosea 8:7, “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind…” And they quote Proverbs 22:8, “Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity…” But let’s not forget, there is a HUGE difference between the New and Old Covenant! Under the Old Covenant what sin you commit equals punishment; this is why you will find so many Old Testament scriptures on sowing and reaping sin. But, under this New Covenant, Jesus reaped all of the punishment that we sowed, and we reap all of the blessings that He sowed.
In the new covenant there is not one verse about karma or about sowing and reaping sin! Don’t let the world influence your beliefs. Take every belief with the finished work in mind. There is a big difference and it is the CROSS! The fact is that, karma is just not Biblical. Is it better to go through your life expecting bad things to happen because of your sin (karma)? Or, is it better to expect good things to happen because Jesus paid the full punishment, we deserved?
photo credit: Jeremy Binns