(Before you read on, I’ve added an old series “On Christianity” that captured my initial walk with Christ here. Still walking, if that is what you are wondering.)
Christians are not supposed to believe in karma, or at least we are not supposed to use the word which has non-Christian connotations. But I often use “karma” as a short form for “retribution”, more because it sounds more cool and has less syllables.
Is there such a thing as retribution in the first place? Do people receive their just deserts for their past evils? Are good deeds returned with good rewards?
Anecdotes do point towards the existence of good and bad karma. For eg. the ass who’s been treating everyone around him badly finally gets the short end of the stick from his superiors. Or the hardworking and unassuming girl who keeps succeeding despite people’s disbelief and constant derision.
During these moments, we who observe will huddle together to gossip, bitch and gloat over the fallen, and look upon the rewarded with a manner of some envy. There is a just God up there, we say!
But further anecdotes point towards more sobering truths. Example…
1. Asses do get ahead in life because they outlast the goody-goodies by attrition and endurance. Or perhaps they just don’t want to leave their current spot, and other good people just get fed up and move on.
2. It is better to be born rich, because it’s easier and faster to get even richer with ready capital.
3. Dumb people, if rich, will always have it easier even if they aren’t that happy anyway. Just buy another iPod or sponsor a chick to be your companion. You can’t buy me love but you can buy other material happiness.
So as we can see, there is no reason to believe in cause and effect. Does that mean God is not just?
Actually, this is a good excuse for me to quote Ecclesiastes again.
1 Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:
I saw the tears of the oppressedâ€”
and they have no comforter;
power was on the side of their oppressorsâ€”
and they have no comforter.
2 And I declared that the dead,
who had already died,
are happier than the living,
who are still alive.
3 But better than both
is he who has not yet been,
who has not seen the evil
that is done under the sun.
God is just, but not in the way humans see it, or perceive it. He will judge all in due time.
But how often do I wish the people who have been so unkind in my life get some bitter punishment! So where is the spirit of forgiveness? Why did God make it so difficult for us to forgive one another? This is one mystery I hope to solve when I see Him.