By Josh Cadwell
At one point in life, I thought that if I went to church, prayed faithfully, made godly decisions, shared my faith, and contributed financially to the cause of Christ, then good things should happen to me. I thought that if I did these actions, I would sense and see God’s blessing and favor. At the time, I also believed that people around me who didn’t follow God should receive less than me.
Karma or Christianity?
This view of life is common in Christianity. The reality is, this is the worldview of karma, the idea that “what goes around comes around.” Many who follow Jesus look at their lives through the lens of karma. The problem comes when you are really suffering. Because if you hold to the view of karma, the problems in your life are deserved. If you apply these principles to your faith, it will shake you to the very core and leave you feeling that you have no hope of drawing near to God.
The Real Gift
Many people in Jesus’ day held this view of faith. In fact, it was common for people to believe that God blessed the prosperous people, that God came near the “well off” people. Many in that time believed that if the rich couldn’t get to Heaven, then no one could get to Heaven. This is why Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler was so shocking.
In Mark 12, Jesus gave us some insight into the kingdom of God. Through Jesus’ explanation of the widow’s gift came the real gift. Because in Jesus’ exchange, he informed us what God is like. We see God’s response to our difficulty in life or our limited resources. Jesus flipped the script for what is honored in the kingdom of God. We find out it is not prominence, position, or wealth. But those who draw near to God, those who humble themselves, and give all of themselves to him—those are the people who hold the attention and the affection of God.
Josh Cadwell is the Lead Minister at Victory Christian Church in Franklin, Indiana. He and his wife, Becky, have four children: Caleb, Mikayla, Kalli, and Carter.