Monday, March 28, 2011

Luck, Karma, and Mother Nature

Luck, Karma, and Mother Nature…what do these three have in common?

They are three ways in which Christians and non-Christians deny God and the power of God. Oh, it’s not something we intentionally do. We do it unconsciously – not considering how our words feel when God hears them. We don’t consider how they conflict with what we believe in our hearts to be true about God. They’re just sayings - words that we’ve heard all our lives. But the fact that we don’t consider what we’re really saying doesn’t decrease the weight of the sin in saying them.

“But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” – Matthew 12:36-38

Luck is seen as a force that causes unmerited good in our lives, or unmerited bad. “Good Luck”, “Better luck next time!”, “a string of bad luck” and other sayings are so commonly used that we sometimes say them without even considering what we are agreeing to with our words. If you believe in God – you cannot believe in luck. Instead you know that all things that happen are according to God’s will. That includes the good, and the bad. He allows bad things to happen in our lives to make us stronger, and blesses us with good things. Thinking that some other force can bring us good or bad diminishes our belief in God’s power over the circumstances in our lives.

“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” – James 1:16-17

Karma is actually a Buddhist and Hindu belief that our actions create a cycle of cause and effect.  An unseen force will cause the good we do to others to bring good into our life, and the bad we do to others to bring bad into our life. Belief in Karma is the opposite of believe in God’s grace.  However, Karma is much like God's will for how we treat others. 

In Matthew 22:39, Jesus taught "‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  But when we fail to do so, God offers grace.  The law of grace says that God is merciful over my actions.  Grace gives me what I don't deserve, and prevents what I do deserve.  Grace is rooted in God's love for us, which worked in our live even while we were sinners, even before we were born (1 Peter 1:17-21), and continues to work today.

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8
"If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself." - 2 Timothy 2:13

Mother Nature is the name we’ve given to weather and environmental change. She’s often blamed for things like floods, hurricanes, and even recently the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. To believe that anything other than God could control the weather is to doubt God’s power over the earth that He created. This includes Global Warming. The whole idea that man can cause the earth to be destroyed prior to the day that God decides to destroy it is just another way we deny God’s power.

“Whatever the LORD pleases He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places. He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries.” – Psalms 135:6.8

It’s hard sometimes to believe things like the Tsunami that hit Japan in March of 2011, or Hurricane Katrina that hit New Orleans in August of 2005, could be caused by a loving God. But to think we could even understand the thoughts and ways of God is to place ourselves on His intellectual level.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." - Isaiah 55:8-9

God holds us accountable for not only our actions, but our thoughts and our words. It’s important to see these three sayings as what they really are – idolatry. They replace the powers of God with other forces. Luck, Karma, and Mother Nature have no place in the life of a Christian.  Being a Christian means putting down our false idols and worshipping Him and Him alone. 

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer." - Psalms 19:14