When Karma Meets Counseling

Happily, Lucifer harms God’s friend. He is given latitude to torment Job, and nothing makes him happier than ruining a worshiper made in the image of God.

Sovereignly, God intends, oversees, limits, and utilizes the wiles of the devil. Throughout this book and the rest of scripture, God proves himself sovereign over Satan, sinners, storms, and sickness.

Tragically, Job is blown away. At this point in his experience, his only hope is death. He prays the Lord will take his life and end his misery.

Foolishly, Bildad gives his counsel. Seeing Job’s reversal of fortune, he proclaims,

Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert the right? If your children have sinned against him, he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression … If you are pure and right, then he will rouse himself for you and restore your rightful habitation. (Job 8:3-6) 

In saying such, Bildad makes two assertions:

  1. He assumes Job’s children have perished due to their transgressions.
  2. He assumes Job’s children, and other children, thrive due to their righteousness.

In saying such, Bildad shows himself naive, legalistic, errant, harmful, and arrogant.

  • Naive – Bildad has no clue what is going on in God’s mind and in his divine council.
  • Legalistic – Bildad proclaims his belief in karma and not grace. God blesses based upon works.
  • Errant – Bildad proclaims Job’s children have perished due to their sin.
  • Harmful – Bildad adds to Job’s burden by giving him false counsel and denying him good comfort.
  • Arrogant – Bildad assumes he is blessed, and not suffering like Job, due to his own righteousness.

Friends, how often does “Christian Karma” sneak into our minds and out of our lips? How often do we wrongly assume our suffering, or that of our friends, is due to sin? How often do we wrongly assume our earthly successes, or that of our friends, is due to righteousness? If God treated us in accordance with our sins, there would never be a day in which he would not be condemning and cursing us. Likewise, if God treated us in accordance with our righteousness, he would never see us living a moment without the taint of sin in our desires, thoughts, words, and deeds. God does not use a sliding scale. Again, our rewards would be non-existent and our damnation would be persistent.

So, let us be humble in our successes. Because of grace, God pours out his wrath upon Jesus. Because of grace, God rewards us for what Jesus and His Spirit do to, in, through, and with us. When it comes to the thrills and victories of this life, we are never getting what we deserve. Therefore, give thanks and be humble.

And let us be careful in our counsel. We do not know what God is doing. We are not keen enough to see how a hellish season in life might be of great blessing and benefit to the made-righteous worshiper. So let us put a guard over our lips. Let us not be quick to speak. With many words come much folly. Let us not further harm the hurting brother or sister by spouting forth our version of karma.

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