The idea of quid pro quo, or I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine, is commonplace. Most everyone is nice to those from whom they can benefit. And with the presidential election looming you can’t help but think of all of the favors being given and the payback being received. So, where do you draw the line? Is there any difference between bartering favors and outright bribery?
“A bribe is seen as a charm by the one who gives it; they think success will come at every turn.” – Proverbs 17:18 NIV
In an interesting parable, Jesus actually seems to be encouraging this type of behavior. Or does He?
In the Parable of the Unjust Steward, Jesus tells a story of a rich man who had a manager that was responsible for managing his goods/business. This manager (or steward in the Biblical language) was doing a poor job, and as you read into the story you might speculate that he was dealing with his boss dishonestly. When the rich man had discovered that the manager had “wasted his goods”, he decided to fire the manager but not before getting a final accounting of his business. So, knowing that he was getting fired, the shrewd manager called to the debtors of his boss and settled their debts for less than they owed, in order to get a favor in return later. In other words, he gave them bribes so that they would be beholden to help him after he was fired – quid pro quo. This man saw the bribe as a charm that would secure his next job.
Jesus complimented the manager: “And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light”. But was this a compliment? Actually, no – this was a condemnation. Jesus then explained that for the unrighteous, it is wise for them to make friends with others who are unrighteous, since they will be spending eternity with them anyway. After all, birds of a feather flock together.
If you are not committed to the Lord, who in this parable is the rich man, then you may as well be committed to the riches of this world and bribe your way to the top. But at the end of the day the Lord will only receive the children of light. You cannot serve two masters, you cannot love God and money.
Did you notice today’s quote was a Bible Sequence?
June 7, 2012 No Comments
This week the 2012 election season officially started with the Iowa Caucuses, and when it comes to winning we see that our politicians have a take no prisoners and say whatever you have to attitude. Win at all costs. This is in stark contrast to today’s quote:
“Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” - Proverbs 3:3 NKJV
Unfortunately, the would-be leaders in our country seem to forsake both mercy and truth in order to get elected. Even more unfortunate is that the voting public buys into it. Let’s pray that God would provide us with leaders that wear mercy and truth around their necks, that have love and integrity written on the tablets of their hearts.
Did you notice today’s quote is a Bible Double?
January 6, 2012 2 Comments
The idea of drowning one’s sorrows in a bottle of booze is common in our culture, but who would actually encourage this behavior? Surely you would never find such advice in the Bible, or would you?
“Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.” – Bible or Not?
Believe it or not, today’s quote is advice found in the Bible. Shocking? Well, maybe, but only if you take it out of context. Let’s look at the entire passage from Proverbs 31, where King Lemuel is rehearsing the advice given to him by his mother.
It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
It is not for kings to drink wine,
Nor for princes intoxicating drink;
Lest they drink and forget the law,
And pervert the justice of all the afflicted.
Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
And wine to those who are bitter of heart.
Let him drink and forget his poverty,
And remember his misery no more.
- Proverbs 31:4-7 NKJV
So, in context, we see that the mother of Lemuel was giving her son advice on how to be a good king.She was setting the bar higher for him, that he would not forget the law of God and that he would not impair his judgment with drink. If he was to be a righteous king, he should lay off the booze. Then she contrasts this desired behavior against those of a lower estate, those not worthy in her eyes to be king.
So the Bible in fact is not giving advice to drink in order to forget misery, but rather giving advice to do the opposite. And the bar continues to be higher for us today as well, seeing that God describes His people as kings.
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
- Rev 5:9-10
Be a king (and queen) for God, and stay sober minded.
September 16, 2011 No Comments