“No One Can Take My Karma”

Yesterday I got a chance to go out with a friend and share the good news of Jesus Christ with folks at the Daley Plaza in Chicago. One conversation in particular struck me as unique. When I first asked him what he believed about God he shared that he was Hindu. I have to admit I learned quite a bit about Hinduism in the course of our conversation. He had tons to share and I really enjoyed getting to know about his faith. At one point the conversation turned to the concept of Karma. He shared that in Hindu beliefs God manages the Universe through Karma. This means that Hindus believe that from an individual perspective, when you put good into the world, God will make sure that good comes back to you in some way. If you put evil into the world, God will make sure that evil comes back to you in some way.

This was a direct opportunity to engage with the gospel because the gospel reminds us that God has allowed Jesus to take upon His own shoulders what we have deserved. We, by our own sinful actions in thought and deed, have stored up justified wrath from God. By our actions the only thing we have earned is wrath. But God offered up Jesus as a propitiation for our sin. In other words Jesus became a substitute who received our wrath on our behalf, thereby freeing us from the consequences of our sin. He died in our place. What’s more, those who receive Jesus by faith are then recipients of the good things Jesus alone has earned. His righteousness and inheritance become ours even though we didn’t earn it. 

I shared this reality with the Hindu man I was speaking to. Immediately he said the following words, “No, no one can take my Karma.” We sat in that declaration for a moment as we all realized this man was truly processing the claims of the scripture. Though he was denying them, for the first time he had clarity on what the scriptures taught about the death and resurrection of Christ. We got to share about the historical resurrection and how that is the proof that Jesus wasn’t lying or deceived, but was actually telling the truth. I could tell this was uncomfortable for him to process, but at the same time good to sit and think about the reality of the historical resurrection and what the must mean about the teachings of Jesus.

During that conversation this man did not make a decision to follow Christ. But I am hopeful and prayer filled that the conversation may have laid seeds for him to engage with others later on in his path. And I’m hopeful that perhaps his curiosity was piqued and that the Holy Spirit may lead him to more discovery. 

I like to share these stories with you to encourage you in your own witness and proclamation of the gospel. These types of conversations can be awkward and sometimes difficult, but they are so good. People are more open to spiritual conversations than we often think they will be. And I must say, that my faith grows exponentially every time I get to share the love of Christ with someone else.

Written by Raef Chenery

I'm a pastor in Chicago at Park Community Church - South Loop. I'm a husband to my beautiful wife Sara and a dad to three sweet girls, Ruth, Joy, and Mira. I'm blessed to be surrounded by a number of men and women who love to think about the ways that our faith interacts with our culture. This blog is as much for me to get my thoughts in order, as it is for those who might benefit from it and engage in the conversations as well. I would love to get your feedback through the comments on each post.

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