Can You Be Bought?

In the news here in my home state of Florida, apparently two men in Seminole County were accused of trying to bribe a police officer with $10,000.

I thought to myself, “You don’t hear about bribery much.” But that got me wondering if this crime is more common than I thought. And I was surprised… 

Just searching “news on bribing” online brought me to several instances that happened within days of each other of perpetrators caught in the act.

My mind began to wander: Have I ever been bribed? Would I be able to do the right thing if I am? 

When I used to work at a store at the Sawgrass Mills Mall, we were supposed to try to get customers to sign up for the store credit card. 

This was back in 2016 and 2017, so I hadn’t been blessed by Compass — finances God’s way’s financial discipleship studies yet. However, I wasn’t the biggest fan of credit cards. 

I knew how dangerous they could be. Just a few swipes using “somebody else’s money,” and soon you could end up throwing more and more of your money away to interest for the next umpteen years!…

Customers would get an extra 10% off their purchase that day if they applied and became approved for the store credit card. That was the benefit we cashiers were told to entice them with. Although it was true, I didn’t really want to try to sign anyone up… until the store upped the ante…

See, for each customer we got to open a store credit card, we’d receive a cash bonus. (I think it was $5 or $10.) So, of course, that gave me a reason. And every month, I made some extra cash on top of my paycheck. 

Now, the question is, was this bribery?

According to Merriam-Webster, a bribe is “money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust; something that serves to induce or influence.”

It’s probably debatable for many of us. I think it was an incentive rather than a bribe. But in retrospect, I think it was too easy for me to compromise my beliefs.

Acting on something simply because you believe it is right should be the only motivation. When money or other things of value come into the picture, you may end up corrupting the heart (Ecclesiastes 7:7).

They say hindsight is 20/20, and I know I’m not perfect. None of us is. But as a financial disciple, I want to see, think and act clearly in the moment, not after the fact. 

Bribe or not, I’ve learned that God does not want us to make decisions because of what we might gain in the process. And if it’s not something I would do without an incentive, then maybe it’s not something I should do at all.

His Word says our lives are not our own, for we were bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The blood Jesus shed was the price paid for me. I want my actions to show that I belong only to my heavenly Father.

When it comes down to living the way God desires me to—being a doer, not just a hearer of His Word—I now have one question that will probably always remain in my mind. Maybe it’s one we should all be asking ourselves…

Can you be bought?

With gratitude,

Melody Stampley

Managing Editor


Melody is the founder of financial coaching business Centsible Finance LLC. She earned a bachelor’s in public relations from the University of Florida in 2014, and a master’s in global strategic communications from Florida International University in 2017; but she discovered her passion in personal finance and writing, as well as a closer relationship with the Lord, after joining a Compass – finances God’s way study in 2020. She now serves as a volunteer on the Compass Florida board, is the editor for the Compass blog, and a facilitator and trainer for financial discipleship studies. Melody, and her husband, Nate, have one son, Isaiah, and live in South Florida.

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