If we treat others the way we want to be treated, or “Do to others as you would have others do to you” (Luke 6:31) as Jesus directed, it follows, according to popular belief, that we will be treated well. But anyone who has survived junior high knows that this is just not true. The philosophy of karma, the belief that we get what we deserve, has permeated our society and the Christian faith. But it dilutes the message of grace because it puts more weight on our behavior than on God’s love and forgiveness. We can’t earn our salvation. And doing good things for others does not guarantee a trouble free life.
When we go through a tough time there is little comfort in thinking we deserve it—even if we do. If we had worked a little harder, were a little nicer, had more faith, believed better then maybe we’d be in a better place. Like somehow cancer is our fault. Or our marriage struggles or fails because we didn’t follow some secret formula quite right.
Abandoning this way of thinking allows us to put our hope on something that never changes. God’s unfailing love.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” Psalm 147:4
Read Psalm 147 at Bible Gateway.