The idea of “paying to play” typically refers to a politician getting money in exchange for benefits—benefits to an individual or a company. It sometimes involves bribery but usually consists of more subtle payments. An example might be a company giving a big donation to a politician’s reelection campaign so the politician will vote in the company’s best interest. A group called Common Cause is working to reduce the influence of money in politics. In Acts chapter 8, we read about a man who thought he could pay to play. His name was Simon. When he saw how the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people he offered the apostles money to buy the power. “Let me have this power too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!” but Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God.” Even though paying to play is pervasive in our world, followers of Christ must seek to have the mind of Christ. We must show integrity in all our political, social, and economic dealings.

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