The word that seems to be the new way of saying,
"You get what you deserve".
"What goes around comes around".
The human mind is complex. Our emotions and sense of justice and violation of rights get all mushed up into our mind and heart and sometimes its difficult to sort it all out.
Maybe some people think of it as "sowing and reaping".
But I have been wondering about something else.
What if the word Karma is used in order that we may clap with satisfaction when someone receives a "pay back". Perhaps it's someone who hurt us. Deeply. And we feel a little smug when they get stung by another. Maybe it's the satisfaction of seeing another's tears... feeling vindicated that there is now a greater understanding how it feels to hurt so much.
There is something in us that wants to see the bully lose and the underdog win. And when the one who appears to be boastful and arrogant and lacking in judgement gets his just desserts we cheer and yell things like.... "Karma bites".
And we smugly sit back satisfied that our world has not been blackened by the monster and good still exists.
We want to know that there is an ultimate winner.
We were born to win.
And in the spirit of mankind there is something that cries out for order and justice and perfection. And one day there will be all of these. The one who created us will come and set all things right.
But for today there is a war.
Because the end has not yet come and we are dwelling in jars of clay.
In the mind of man there is something that wars against the spirit and this is where the battle is found.
People rarely indicate they need victory over the movement of hands, or feet,
but the mind.
The mind produces the thoughts that drive my actions.
And the mind, when filled with messages of revenge including the messages repeated to oneself... Revisiting offenses and dwelling in the midst of the muck of unforgiveness and paybacks, leads to the action of evil. This includes Passive Aggressive retaliation and underhanded back room deals. Gossip and slander of another so someone agrees with us that indeed we were wrongly treated.
But In order to justify our actions we call it "Karma".
They got what they deserve.
The only problem is, We were never given the authority as citizens of another kingdom to be the "dealer outters of just desserts".
Instead we are asked to do the opposite of what we feel like doing.
And so the war rages. Our minds, our hearts, our emotions cry one thing. Order. Justice. Revenge!
And our Master tells us something else...
He asks us to not retaliate, but leave it to him to deal with the offender.
To pray for those who have hurt us.
To love and forgive those who do wrong to us. Over.And Over. And over again.
It's unnatural and we struggle to do what is right while our whole body screams to do something else.
He tells us that we were made for another world.
He knows we don't have the full knowledge or wisdom to deal with matters of another's heart and he encourages us to remove the plank from our own eye instead of painstakingly and often mistakenly trying to remove the teeny tiny splinter from another's.
He tells us that we don't war against flesh and blood but against beings we can't see.... That come to our mind and hold us captive if we allow them to.
He instructs us to "do to others as you would want done to you".
And it kind of just kicks the whole bucket of "Karma" right over as we shake our heads...
"How can they keep getting away with it"?
"They don't deserve it", We say.
But as I remove the plank from my own eye I realize,
Neither do I.
No Not I.
And No matter what, He forgives me. And keeps walking with me. And loving me...
Over and Over and Over again.
How can I be the judge when I am so in need of forgiveness myself?
It keeps me soft. And it brings me low. Right where I need to be.
Undeserving myself. But so grateful for grace.
How about you?
Do you need some grace today?
Do you need to give some grace today?
Let's forget about Karma and think about that.
Because this morning as we rise His Mercies are new and fresh and enough for today.