The main reason people are still talking about Mother Teresa and her ministry to the destitute in Kolkata is due to the worldview she adhered to in her life. Teresa’s worldview—the way she looked at the world and in particular fellow human beings—was that of grace. The rich and capable people who could serve the poor with their resources chose not to do so mainly because of their worldview. This worldview is characterized by karma. If you subscribe to the worldview of karma, you would indubitably believe the popular sayings such as:
“We reap what we sow…we sow what we reap”
“If the good is sown, the good is collected”
“What goes around comes around”
“Do good and good will come back to you”
“People pay for what they do”
“You get what you give, whether it’s bad or good.”
Thus, the natural corollary of karma worldview is that you do not engage with the world and its problems. You leave the world to go the way it is destined to go. You leave people in their sufferings for that is their destiny due to their past karma. You do nothing to alleviate misery and poverty. You do not spend time and resources in researching the root causes of sicknesses and produce better treatments, medicines, and vaccines, and so on and so forth.
On the other hand, if you subscribe to the worldview of grace, you would realize that we are not good enough in ourselves and need the grace of God to save us. Grace means God loved us so much that he decided to reveal himself fully to us in and through Jesus Christ (John 3: 16). The grace of God not only saves us from sins but enables us to be a channel of His grace to others (I Corinthians 15: 10). In short, the following summarize the effects of a worldview of grace:
Grace enables you to see the world in light of hope.
Grace enables you to find beauty, hope, positivity, and possibilities all around you.
Grace helps you see people in misery through the eyes of God and God does not just sit around doing nothing. Rather, He works out the grace through us to find solutions for the problems of the world.
Grace makes you recognize that you are already part of the Kingdom of God; therefore, you would do everything possible to not only pray but also help bring the Kingdom of God on earth.
Grace empowers you to see yourself as salt and light in the world; therefore, your words and actions would reflect the characteristics of salt and light.
This Lenten season, therefore, let’s pause to consider which worldview defines us: karma or grace? Which perspective would you like to view the world with? Some of us who are saved by nothing but grace still think and operate under the law of karma. For example, some think that by doing a few pious looking deeds such as giving up meat or chocolate they could keep Lent holy and please God while their lives remain unchanged. May the grace of God dispel such thinking from us and may we choose to be a channel of God’s free-flowing grace in the needy world.