“A man reaps what he sows.” -Galatians 6:7b (NIV)
Some have taken the Biblical idea of reaping what we sow as equivalent to the Hindu concept of karma. However, there is one fundamental difference. Karma is tied to the idea of reincarnation; that when we die we are reborn into another life on Earth. Under the idea of karma, the actions of our previous lives determine the consequences in our present lives. Not only is this unfair, because essentially we have to bear the consequences of wrong actions that were committed in a previous life that we cannot even recollect, but it also becomes hard to attach responsibility. There is no way to determine whether or not the consequences we face in the present, good or bad, are a result of actions committed by ourselves in the present, or by a former self in our past lives. The system of karma can also give license to someone to indulge in sin in the present, with the nominal acceptance that they will pay it off in their next lives. Thus, it can be easy to dodge responsibility for our present actions.
But the Bible is very clear. According to Hebrews 9:27 man is destined to die once and stand before God’s judgment seat. The consequences that we face in the present are not attributed to actions, pure and wicked, committed in a supposed previous life, but those committed in the here and now. Responsibility for our actions is squarely placed on what we have done in the single, present life that God has given us and we will pay for those actions in this life as well. It is paramount therefore that we be careful in our actions. If we sow the seeds of sin, folly, and wickedness in our lives, do not be surprised when the damaging consequences of our actions come knocking at our door. God allows us to endure the ramifications of sin now so that we would reconcile ourselves to Him. In doing so, we realize our need to pursue righteousness only by walking closely with Him and relying on His constant help and grace. Conversely, God rewards those who sow virtue and purity. We can take great comfort in the fact that He will bless the faithful who have been obedient to His Word and continue to persevere in living in love and integrity. When we walk closely with Christ, our eyes will be opened to what we are sowing and, with His wisdom and guidance, we will be able to reap a harvest of righteousness even in times where turmoil surrounds our lives.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.