You Will Always Harvest What You Plant
What Buddhists call karma and what the rest of us refer to as “what goes around comes around” is actually a biblical idea… sort of. The Bible speaks often of the law of sowing and reaping. For example,
Don’t be misled – you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. - Galatians 6:7 (NLT)
God is just and will make all things equitable in the end of time. We wonder why children suffer innocently at the hands of evil people – God will make it right in the end. We wonder why the corrupt flourish and the upright suffer – God will make it right in the end. Given enough time, we will always sow what we reap.
The difference that biblical Christianity makes is significant. Yes, God is just and fair and will always punish sin and reward righteousness, which is what makes the gospel so vital to our faith. The Bible also says,
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. - Isaiah 53:5-6 (NLT)
The difference between the biblical view of “what goes around comes around” and what the rest of the world’s philosophies teach can be understood in this way… We must reap what we’ve sown and we must be punished for our sins UNLESS a Messiah, a Savior, a Deliverer and Redeemer is willing to step before the Judge of all the earth and, on our behalf, reap the penalty of what we’ve sown on our behalf.
In other words, karma is true, except that it’s been short-circuited for followers of Jesus by the gracious plan of God to allow His Son Jesus to pay for our sin with His own life. And nothing is more motivating to stop sowing the seeds of wrong than enjoying the freedom of life in the One who made it all right.