Do You Believe in Karma?


What does the Bible say about Karma?

It may sound like I’m being somewhat technical, but the Bible doesn’t specifically say there is no Karma, because the Bible doesn’t say anything about Karma good or bad. First, to define Karma: it comes from the Hindu belief that the good or bad we do in life determines what happens to us in the afterlife. It also ties into reincarnation – if you do more good than bad this time ‘round, you come back as something better; if more bad than good, you come back as something worse (a dog, or a fly). People in our 21st pop-psych society have turned it into a general rule that if you do good now, you will be rewarded for that during your lifetime somehow.



According to the Bible, there IS some truth to this. Job 4:8 says, “As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.” Proverbs 22:8-9 says, “He who sows wickedness reaps trouble… A generous man will himself be blessed.” There are several other verses that say the same type of thing. These are stating what we already know – miserable and obnoxious people tend to get back what they dish out to others; while kind and generous people foster good, caring and supportive relationships that benefit them in the long run. But that’s not Karma, that’s life. The Bible is just stating something that is apparent to us all.


The main problem I see with Karma is how people put their trust in it to gain something good from life now and the afterlife when they die. For the secularist, Karma is his god. Christians don’t put their trust in impersonal forces. We trust in a personal, loving God who knows us and our circumstances in life. We know that whatever happens to us, whether good or bad, that the One we have entrusted our lives to is guiding and shaping events in our lives to cause it all to work together for good. I do good, not in order to get something good back, but to honour God and be an example for righteousness to others.


The other thing about Karma is that it is most definitely connected to the idea of reincarnation. But the Bible says that we all die ONCE – Hebrews 9:27 “It is appointed unto man once to die, and then the judgement.” In other words, there are no second chances. And if you are trusting in your good works to get you into heaven, well – that’s a lost cause as well, as Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us plainly. The challenge is, trying to convince the secularist about these things. This is the great divide between the secular and Christian understanding of things. When we quote Bible verses to a secularist, he simply says “I don’t believe the Bible.” Well, we do, and we take our instruction from it. We can’t convince anybody of anything. All we can do is state why we believe what we believe and let the Word do its work in their hearts.