I think that we sometimes mistake karma for Gods blessings.
I grew up knowing that if I was a good boy and always did the right thing that God would bless my life. Now, I still believe this, but….I also believe that someone who does NOT know Jesus or claim to be a Christian, can expect the same blessings if he or she is a good person and always tries to do the right thing.
This, I think is a common misperception of the blessings of God. I believe that God placed certain laws in His creation. (In general) Laws like, if you are nice to others they will be nice to you. If you are honest you will generally be respected. If you work hard at your job you will be rewarded. You get back to you what you put out. This is the concept behind karma. And I believe that these are laws that God put in motion when he created the world. These laws don’t care if you are a Christian or not. They work the same way for everyone.
But you might say: my life was really screwed up before I met Christ. Yes it probably was. And when you met Christ, His influence in your life, over time, caused you to follow the laws that were already in place.
It’s not that God blesses you if you are good, it’s that God’s influence in your life causes you to be a better person, which accesses the blessings that are available to everyone who lives a “good” life.
So you say why does it matter? Sounds like the outcome is the same right?
It’s very important to understand the difference because it influences our attitude about God. You see, if you believe that God blesses you if you try harder to be “good” then you will try hard to be good for the sole purpose of earning God’s blessings. This is legalism. “Be better for God and he will bless you”. This is a common teaching in a lot of churches.
One of the Devils traps is to convince you that you need to try harder to earn Gods blessings or to please God in some way. Why is this a trap? Because it is impossible to succeed. You will always fall short of what is good enough, and when you do fail, that starts what I call the guilt spiral. You fail, you feel guilty about it, you get depressed, you try harder, you fail again, you become more depressed. Eventually you give up and decide that you can’t be good enough for God. So you live a mediocre life, always afraid to tell others about Christ, because what if they found out you failed? You would be a bad witness for Christ.
If the Devil can’t stop you from becoming a Christian, the next best thing is to trick you into becoming an ineffectual Christian.
The laws that God put into effect when He created the earth are general laws, this means that they work most of the time, but not all of the time. We all know that bad things happen to good people this is a result of the curse that sin brought on this planet. Sometimes bad things happen. But in general if your are nice to people they will be nice back.
Okay, so what is the proper reason to try and be “better”? We should try to be better so we can have a better life, and we should try to be better for God just because he died for us and is our friend and savior. But do not expect miraculous blessings from God because your are “good”. If he does bless you beyond what you deserve, then great, but don’t expect it. If we expect it, we are trying to make God our own personal genie. And trust me, he will NOT fit in your bottle.
Again, I’m not saying God does not bless his people in miraculous ways, obviously he does, but don’t expect it, because you have been “good”. Be good because it’s the right thing to do for all humans. Obey God rules to the best of your ability, because he died for you and he loves you. I’m convinced that even if I never try to get better, if I am in communion with God, I will get better by association.
In fact, I tried for years to “get better” to please God. It did not work. What did work was giving up my attempts to cure myself and just spend time with God. Our focus seems to be on the “getting better” part, “you’ve got to remember to do such and such, so you can bring a smile to Gods face” all of that sentence is wrong. Instead just focus on God, focus on what Christ did for you, and let the Holy Spirit work in you. Eventually you will “get better” by association.
I’m, of course, faaaaarrrrr from from being “good”, but I’ve seen over the last few years, that sin does not have the same hold on me as it once did. And again this only started when I stopped trying so hard and just spent time with God.
So stop trying so hard, and know that God is not mad at you, and He loves you, and He likes you just as you are.