I don’t believe in karma. Except, maybe I do. I don’t believe there is a sentient being (not even God) that lies in wait for a transgression, so that it may be swiftly and decisively punished. At the same time, I do believe that the energy we give into the universe comes back around. If I live a life that is filled with deceit, theft, and selfishness, then I will attract trouble. But if I live a life that is filled with selflessness, compassion, and generosity, then joy and peace will find me.
Paul knew this to be true; not that God punishes sin, but that what we put into the world returns to us. At some point we suffer the consequences of our actions. If I speed down the same street every day, eventually I will get a speeding ticket. If I regularly give of my time and money out of my abundance (or even in my scarcity), then I will have established within myself a comfort and acceptance that will allow me to receive help when I need it. We live in the spaces we create. What does your life space look like?
My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor’s work, will become a cause for pride. For all must carry their own loads. Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher. Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.