What goes around comes around. There is a kind of smugness in this old maxim. It seems that even the most religious folks allow those words to come out of their mouths with indignant self-righteousness.
It is surprising really. There is certainly no gospel mention of Jesus wagging his finger or clicking his tongue with a message of certain doom. On the contrary, he welcomes sinners, dines with tax collectors, and hangs out with rugged fishermen, street people, and prostitutes. His message is one of acceptance and a way out of trouble. Yet, we continue to wage a holy war on one another by waiting for divine retribution, punishment, and retaliation. Lucky for most of us that what goes around does not always come around. I don’t know about you, but my fate would be sealed.
“Contrary to popular misconception, karma has nothing to do with punishment and reward.” ~ Sol Luckman
What we need to wait for and anticipate is forgiveness, grace, and love. We should especially wish this for those who seem to be mired in trouble and meanness. We don’t get to set ourselves apart as righteous superiors. We don’t get to discard those who have injured us with karmic hopes that ‘they will get theirs’. Any time we do those things we are setting up a dynamic of hatred which flows out to every ear that hears. We become the example of exactly what drives people away from God. The lost sheep is not being fervently pursued with shears and butcher knives. The lost sheep is being sought so it can be returned home on the shoulders of the shepherd in expectation of a great celebration. With that in mind let’s stop expecting cosmic retribution and hope for universal mercy.
Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse. In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.
His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.
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Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast