A bribe is a charm to the one who gives it; wherever he turns, he succeeds. Proverbs 17:8
If you turn to much of the developing world (or corrupt politicians in the Western world), you know that bribes are a part of the culture. Many view the fees paid as tips since the wages of the customs official or police officer are meager at best. Regardless of the moral rightness or wrongness of it, giving that bribe or tip opens doors.
When I lived in Mongolia I was stopped by the police because I had made an illegal turn. I didn’t know it was illegal and it wasn’t marked as such. I argued only briefly with the officer and asked my translator if he wanted a bribe to settle the issue. “Actually, I think he just wants an apology.” Sure enough, I apologized profusely for being such an ignorant foreigner, bowing a little and speaking as reverently as I could. The officer lectured us, then let us go. The bribe in this case was an apology over something I didn’t think I had done. No big deal. Swallow a little pride and be on my way. Had I been dogmatic about it, I might still be arguing the point with the policeman.
Pray for the families you know living in foreign lands. Pray they will have the wisdom to make the thousands of choices regarding government officials and life in general. Pray that “wherever they turn, they will succeed.”