May 5, 2013
READ: Psalm 26:1-12
Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart (v.2).
An advisor I recently consulted was highly recommended by a large, established Christian organisation. At first I had a positive experience with him as he helped me navigate the complicated immigration laws in Uganda. The second time around, however, the man literally took my money and ran. When I called the organisation that had referred him, a representative said, “He started out good but went astray. Stay away from him. He’s dangerous.”
I ultimately learned that the man I hired had got involved in paying and receiving bribes to boost his business. His turn to corruption demonstrated the truth of Exodus 23:8, “Take no bribes, for a bribe makes you ignore something that you clearly see. A bribe makes even a righteous person twist the truth.”
Bribery negatively affects people regardless of their occupation. When a person attempts to gain through dishonest means, his or her actions lead down a treacherous path. In fact people who seek to steal from us, believing that bribery is the only way to achieve a desired outcome, are embracing sin. There’s no way to gloss over it. The psalmist writes, “Their hands are dirty with evil schemes, and they constantly take bribes. But I am not like that; I live with integrity. So redeem me and show me mercy” (Psalm 26:10-11).
If people suggest that we deal dishonestly or engage in bribery, it’s important that we reject their requests immediately and cling to verses like Psalm 25:5, “Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You.”
Call to God, saying, “Send out Your light and Your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me . . . to the place where You live” (43:3).—Roxanne Robbins
What does Job 15:34 convey to you about the fate of those who engage in bribery?
How have you been tempted to act without integrity recently? Why does God desire our human dealings to be pure—exhibiting honesty and integrity?