TAKING OR GIVING BRIBES/GIFTS
In our country kenya, we have recently read many stories of corruption- some Mps being said to have been bribed to switch parties by being offered a lot of money, one of those cases being that of the former ODM secretary general who is said to have received millions of money to ditch his party for another party. We also read of how people can be paid she.2000/- to shs. 15000/- to shed innocent blood. Recently, there was another case whereby a woman was said to have contracted somebody to eliminate her husband and she promised the guy she.500000/-, and made an advance payment of shs. 100000/-, but the guy did not see the need of shedding the blood of an innocent person, and the matter was reported and the woman arrested.
What is a bribe/gift? Webster defines a bribe as - 1. " anything, esp money, given or promised to induce a person to do something illegal or wrong; 2. anything given or promised to induce a person to do something against his or her wishes" whereas bribery is defined as "the giving, offering ,or taking of bribes". What does the Bible say of bribes? The Book of Exodus 23:8 states that 'And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of righteous ". What it tells us is that even if you are wise, the moment you start accepting gifts, especially if you are in apposition of authority, you will be blinded and you will make wrong decisions. You can even kill a person even if you had not wanted to, the moment you start accepting gifts. People have accepted gifts and shed innocent blood. The Book of Deuteronomy 16:19 says"Thou shalt not wrest judgement; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous". What is spoken of in Exodus is exactly what is spoken of here. One should not do favouritism when discharging his or her duties, that is what is meant by respect of persons. In the Book of 11 Chronicles 19:7, we read "Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts". God does not respect persons. He is totally against the giving of bribes/gifts. In the new Testament, we read in the Book of Romans 2:11 that "For there is no respect of persons with God".
You remember the story of Simon who wanted to give the apostles money so that they can give him the gift of Holy Ghost? This story is found in the Book of Acts Chapter 8:18 and read what it says" And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands , he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money". God wants us to discharge our duties without favouritism . Jesus told his disciples that " Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give". If you are in apposition of authority where you employ people for example, employ them based not on ethnic background , but if it is on academic background, do so. While on this , let me also include false witnessing . It goes with this too. do not accuse somebody falsely, or accept to give false witnessing simply because you have been promised a bribe/gift. Remember if you do so, you are cursed. See what the Lord told Moses about those who take gifts/bribes to slay innocent people. Deuteronomy 27:25 tells u s"Cursed he that taketh reward to slay innocent person". If you take a bribe, and that money you have even embezzled to suit you, and innocent people / children die because the state has no joey to buy them drugs, you have killed innocent people. This is what we are seeing in our country. Those people who are tax collectors have enriched themselves by taking the state money in dubious ways and have built themselves mansions at the expense of common person- they are killing innocent people. Solono tells us in his Book ; Proverbs 13:11 that " Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase". If you enrich yourselves by accepting bribes/gifts, your wealth will go no where and will diminish. The Lord blesses your hard work. In the Book of Deuteronomy 28:12, says that "The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine land: and then shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow".
Jesus told his audience too about these issues. In the Book of Luke the Third Chapter verse14, when the people asked him what they should do in order to be saved, among those who were present were the soldiers(police). And this is what they asked Him" And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely ; and be content with your wages". Are we not seeing this behaviour with our police? The recent police vetting in Kenya shows this. There were officers whose salaries were below 50000/- shillings and yet had millions of shillings in their bank accounts, an they were unable to convince the panel how they got that kind of money. False accusations are always there with our police. This takes me back to the Book of I Kings Chapter 20, where we get the story of Jezebel who accused naboth falsely by bringing in two witnesses to testify against him. the issue was that Naboth had refused to sell his vineyard to the king, an dJezebel told the king that let him not worry as he is going to get the vineyard. We see these e things happening around us. Why have I decided to write on this matter of bribery/ gift? First of all, when the word gift is used here, it means a bribe not the other gift which we give people with no conditions attached.
In conclusion, it is not proper to take a gift with an intention to influence an outcome of something so that it works in your favour. Those of us in positions of authority, an those who are aspiring to occupy those positions, please and please, do not accept gifts/bribes. Those who collect taxes, collect only that which is due, and never take bribes as the Lord will not make your riches to prosper instead, they will diminish.