Bribery and corruption, what is it? Bribery is the act of taking bribe, which is a payment such as money or a favour given to someone to induce him to act dishonestly whereas Corruption is dishonest or illegal behavior especially of people in authority using their power to do dishonest or illegal things in return for money or to get advantage. The Bible frequently condemns the giving and receiving of bribes (Amos 5:12).
The Psalmist spoke of sinners and bloodthirsty men, “whose right hand is full of bribes” (Ps 26:10). And in Genesis 6:11-13, it is recorded; “Now the earth had become corrupt in God’s sight, and it was filled with violence. God observed all this corruption in the world, and he saw violence and depravity everywhere. So God said to Noah, I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. Yes, I will wipe them all from the face of the earth..”
The Bible warns on the issue of bribery and corruption thus: “Do not accept a bribe….” (Ex.23:8) “For a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise” (Deut.16:19). “Cursed is the man who accept a bribe….” (Deu.27:25). God will surely judge bribery and corruption to the extent that, “He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse the bribe, however great it is” (Prov.6:35). The consequences of taking bribe or giving and abetting corruption is great.
Can you turn down bribe? I reproduce here an account of how temptation of bribering failed two Haggai Institute Alumni. It is true that bribery and corruption are among the oldest and most widespread games. Though outlawed, and considered morally and legally wrong, they are almost endemic and certainly the bane in developing countries. This report is about how two Haggai Institute Alumni from different countries but confronted with the same problem- responded to the bribe culture.
Taking stock of deeds at Leeds. Meet Nobly Chime from Zambian, an Haggai Institute Soldier who has recently been drawn into the international faculty. This is his testimony.”I was assigned to go to Leeds to negotiate an agreement for the manufacture of airline stewardesses uniforms upon securing the final deal and when all the prices were confirmed, I was suddenly asked what was going to be my “portion” and where did I want it sent” Nobly looked at the speaker in bewilderment, and thn as realization of what was being conveyed dawned, he replied calmly that there was to be no portion for him at all.
“I said that all the negotiations were seriously to and for the benefit of my employer alone” Practicing before teaching. The owner of the company Nobly had dealt with demanded to visit Zambia. “He said he wanted to see the homestead of the African who had shattered the belief that to do business with Africans demands bribery” Nobly thought it was just one those conversations.
Imagine his surprise when a few weeks later the man actually landed up at his home in Zambia. “He told my family what an honorable husband/father they had, says the Haggai Institute Alumnus with a chuckle. Incidentally, the subject, which Nobly Chimes will be teaching at Haggai Institute, is Integrity of the leader. Apt!
Tom will not play by rule of thumb. Now met Dr. Tom Oommen. His businessman father had some good books, which he wanted to use to start a Christian reading Room in the Nilgris, but he died before he could. Tom took his father’s books and when the Well come Library in United Kingdom offered him 9000 Medical volumes to start a medical library, he took that as a green signal from God to go ahead with the project.
Tom explains, “At a total cost of approximately one hundred thousand dollars, the library is located in the centre of Maugalore City on the seventh floor of the same residential area and commercial libraries will not be allowed in the premises” Blessing in disguise.
The Library is planned to be largest private medical library in India and since it is not attached to any institution; it is going to be accessible to all profession. “It will become a meeting point for professionals who may not otherwise meet” says Tom. The prime purpose of the library is evangelical exclusive for Christian books though for security reasons it is not advertise as a Christian reading room but as a professional library. The bribery issue arose in two parts; first, when Tom had to get his library registered; and the second time he had to clear the consignment of books (sent by Well come Library from UK) at the docks. “I saw the challenge to succeed or succumb as the officials before me waited for a bribe,” he remembers, and ads, I saw, at both points, and I feel richer, wiser and happier for the two experiences.
Salt of the earth. Bribery and Corruption in any country is destabilizing. Many companies still believe that, to get ahead in business, they will need to use bribery.
The problem is, corruption is like a virus. And it can boomerang on companies that offer bribes can never know whose pockets they are lining. It may be the pockets of their own employees and agents because bribery is hidden. There are nothing to stop employees and agents from pocketing bribe money that they persuaded their company was needed to compete.
What a blessing that Haggai Institute Alumini, well grounded in the subject of integrity, can fight this terrible plague and stand out as the people who make a difference. The same can happen to our nation leaders, politicians, legislators, judges, policemen, Armed forces, Civil Servants, religious leaders and businessmen/women if we heed the Bible warming and live honest lives.
I agree with late Chief Sunday Awoniyi, former Chairman, A.C.F in his view of the state of corruption in Nigeria even though the motive may be suspicious. Said he, “Corruption is not only about stealing public fund or receiving gratifications. It is corruption and a crime to deny those who won elections their victory, and to award victory to those who lost. It is corruption to misuse the apparatus of government, particularly the security agents, to rig elections of April, 2003.
It is corruption to claim the results of such elections as mandates from the people! Corruption includes a deceit of trusting Nigerians when you promise one thing, and do something else. Corruption includes creating situations of uncertainty and stress, for the entire populace to gain selfish advantage. Corruption includes playing one religion against the other and one ethic group against another for whatever gains”
“When a man is afflicted with spiritual corruption, he corrupts everyone around him. He prefers to bring near himself, men who are tainted; men who are filthy and morally depraved, and easily blackmailed or manipulated. Spiritual corruption makes a leader keep away from himself, the clean, the bold, the unsoiled, the prudent, the fair minded and the truthful” “A Spiritually corrupt man is instinctively attracted towards impropriety rather than correct conduct. One of the ugliest attributes of the spiritually corrupt is greed. Greed for power; greed for worldwide adulation; greed for wealth; greed to be chairman of everything that is “chairmanable”, greed to be seen to be the author or originator and executor of laudable projects, failing which the projects are scuttled if the sees that the glory for them can be shared with everybody else. When a man is spiritually corrupt you cannot put anything beyond him”. We must all repent of bribery and corruption. It is only Spirit filed born again and led Christian that can overcome the spirit of bribery and corruption.