One of the greatest struggles Rashmi and I had to face in this recent past was cause of our stand against corruption and bribing. We decided not to bribe the policemen into getting our verification done quickly, they on the other hand decided to report that some papers were missing, making sure that the passport issuance took a really long time. Should I have gone through all this trouble? Isn’t it wise to just give the guy some money to get your work done? Can we actually get anything done in India without actually bribing? Please follow along with me on this post and let’s try to understand the heart of God on this.
Bribing or Gifting?
Does Bible teach the system of bribery to be wrong? Yes, God is a just God and cannot be bribed. (Deut 10:17) Bible calls bribery as an evil scheme. (Psalm 26:!0) Now the question really is whether a person paying the bribe is as much as promoting the evil as the one taking the bribe? Bible also says, “A bribe is like a lucky charm, whoever gives one will prosper” (Prov 17:8) and “A secret gift calms anger; a bribe under the table pacifies fury” (Prov 21:14)
So does that mean that Bible is promoting giving of bribes, while discouraging only the receiving of one? Absolutely not! God’s word teaches us that bribes corrupt the heart. (Ecc 7:7) Isn’t the one giving the bribe responsible for corrupting the receiver’s heart? Definitely yes! Is it alright for you to give a gift to the folks who help you? Yes, surely! But when you give it as a means to get your things done, especially for illegal matters, it has a highly corruptive effect on the heart and my personal opinion and conviction hence is that it is sinful.
Corruption or Christianity?
Are Christians responsible for the corruption in India? Yes, of course. Every time we gave in and paid a bribe instead of keeping our stand we have made a statement that Christianity is fine with this system of bribing. Does Christians have a role to play in the economic and the political development of this country? Or should we just keep mum and play along with the existing system and never speak up on matters like this?
For the godless are barren. Their homes, enriched through bribery, will burn. (Job 15:34)
Any work, ministry, church, political system, corporate systems, or financial systems built on bribery will surely burn and not prosper. And when we continue to play along with the system in our nation and refuse to stand up for what we believe, we are also turning a blind eye to its destruction. If as Christians we are the least bothered about most questions like the corruption or economic downfall or inflation that we often face in the country, let us begin with small things like this, Stop paying bribes!
I hope and pray that a day will come, when it will be well known and understood all over that Christians won’t pay bribes, no matter how much they have to struggle for the same. That is the example that New Testament saints like Apostle Paul has shown us, (Acts 24:26) and let us follow the same.
Now having said that, can I also briefly add here that God desires a godly government over our cities and our nations. In the Old Testament when God ordained governance this is what he told them,
“Select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten” (Exo 18:21)
God asked them to look for people who won’t accept bribes. Shouldn’t the New Testament Church and the Christians in it vote and elect and stand with folks who would do the same? Well, you may say everybody is corrupt and accepts bribes these days. Then pray that God would raise Daniels, Josephs and Nehemiahs to serve in the governments of our nations in the day and age.
Yes, bribery is an evil. But Christians cannot chose to ignore it. We have to rise up as a voice and as an instrument to see it go down, not only by praying against it, but also by doing all we can in our own small or big ways.
Read another post on our blog: Handling Money Wisely for some financial principles you should follow.
Do you agree with the post? What would you be able to do fight the system of corruption or bribery around you? How can we take a stand and let our voice be heard? Would you like to add anything to the above? Please share in the comments below.