S: Deuteronomy 16:19 You must never twist justice or show partiality. Never accept a bribe, for bribes blind the eyes of the wise and corrupt the decisions of the godly.
O: God clearly condemns bribery for twisting justice. But what do we do when we Malaysians live in a culture where government officials often expect bribes to get anything done?
Some things are clear-cut. For example, if we are legitimately caught for a traffic violation, we should not pay a bribe to the policeman but rather should pay the ticket properly. However, some people cannot even get their legitimate job done if they don't pay bribes.
A: I'm very fortunate that as a lecturer, I don't face this in my job. But I have friends who are architects and civil engineers, who would never get their building plans approved if they did not pay bribes.
One friend who is a committed follower of Jesus facing this says that he doesn't pay bribes to get officials to twist justice -- to do anything they are not supposed to do. But he does pay them when it is necessary to get them to do what they were supposed to do in the first place.
As one who doesn't face this myself, I cannot stand in judgment of him. But this I know — as Malaysian Christians, we should do what we can to destroy this culture of bribery.
Businessmen face the same problem in India. Here is an article about what some Indian believers are doing about it.
P: Father, I lift up Malaysia to you and pray that we will be able to overturn this culture of bribery. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)