Survival Principles #6

Establishing That You Can't Be Bought


Lion’s Den Survival Principles is a series designed to help Christians thrive in the often hostile world of media and entertainment. The principles from Scripture, however, can apply to every situation where you find yourself in the midst of lions!

Dr. Larry Poland Twitter

Establishing the Fact That You Can’t Be “Bought”

“Then Daniel answered the king, ‘You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.’”
— Daniel 5:117 (NIV)

Talk about an opportunity to cash in! Here was the chance of a lifetime. The panicked king Belshazzar, still quaking from the terror of watching a divine hand write mysterious words on the wall of his banquet hall, is willing to give away the company store. He had just made his first offer, “If you can read this writing and tell me what it means, you will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around your neck, and you will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”

A typical negotiating response would have been, “How about throwing in an additional robe and a bracelet?” or “Can we talk about the second highest slot?” Belshazzar must have been blown away by Daniel’s response. In one sentence, Daniel passes on all the prizes behind door “B.”  It’s clear that Daniel, now an octogenarian, has learned a vital principle of spiritual success.

Survival Principle: Make it clear that, when it comes to doing what’s right, you can’t be bought.

I watched a Hollywood TV director turn down a series, at least a year’s work, because the producers would not commit to avoiding Christ-bashing in their content. I observed a music composer turn down the scoring of a film because it was an exploitation flick. Godly actors turn down parts. A film producer turned down the chance of instant wealth and the status of heading a major division of Spielberg’s new company, Dreamworks SKG. A writing team turned down a lucrative project because it glorified the occult. A TV producer passed on a network series unless the content dealing with spiritual things could be changed.

In each case above, the people on the other side were dazzled that (a) any one would turn down lucrative work and (b) that anyone had the kind of moral nonnegotiables that transcended financial gain and personal status. One national survey indicated that 17% of Americans would murder someone if the dollar price were high enough and they were assured of not being caught. Wouldn’t you like to know what percentage of Christians in the media would turn down work to obey the Master?

Survival Principle: If your spiritual integrity can be bought at any price, the numbers are meaningless, and Satan will always make sure somebody is in the bidding. 

If it can’t be bought at any price, it’s a waste of his time to try, because you are obviously operating on a different economic system!

Daniel made an additional point with his “pass” on Belshazzar’s goodies. He didn’t even care if someone else got the stuff offered to him! “Give your rewards to someone else,” he said. Some of us find it easier to say “no” to an offer, if it isn’t given to somebody else. The true man or woman of God can’t be bought, even if the second in line may get the benefit and rub it in.

Survival Principle: What is done with the price offered for our integrity after we turn it down is God’s business. In any case, He’ll find a way to replace and multiply our reward for faithfulness.

Live by this!


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This post has 3 Comments

  1. Charlene Hutchison on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I heard you on Moody Radio tonight and thought about the borders you have surpassed into the masterminds of movies. My husband among other students loved to critique movies in college for a class. He will be so interested that Christians are there working to touch lives with the Word and the Lord in Hollywood! I’m definitely will use the prayer calender for praying for the producers and actors and actresses. Thank you and God bless the ministry the Lord gave you through encouragement of Dr Bright!
    Charlene Hutchison
    Crawfordsville, Indiana

  2. John Provost on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 9:29 am

    March 3, 2015 What a timely message for US! As I listen to ACLJ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Quoting the Old Testament Holy Bible the book of Esther Purim in March and Haman hating the Jews. What a message for a time such as this. Daniel YES!

  3. Tim Lowry on Monday, July 13, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Sometimes, Satan tempts us to “sell out” with a currency other than money. I have a friend who is a fabulous, musical virtuoso. She has risen steadily through the ranks of classical music, but sacrificed her marriage on the way up. The cost of being first chair violin was too high, much too high. The true artistic life is one that can balance career and family, lofty goals and the day to day responsibilities, the bright lights and the glow on the home hearth. It is my prayer that God will help me manage a rich devotional life just as well as a fat check book.

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