What? Uh huh!!! It sure will. I’m not trying to act self righteous here and take you on an all round guilty trip because you took a bribe today or you took it a couple of weeks back.
But this is yet another bible career lesson that caught my attention. When I started doing the bible series, I reached the career story of Gehazi and his boss Prophet Elisha. There story really intrigued me when I found out how fast Gehazi’s career life came to an end.
When Prophet Elijah resigned from his job and went in heaven in the 2nd Chapter of 2 kings in the bible, Elisha took over his mantle and became the new prophet. He then hired Gehazi as his assistant in the same chapter and shortly after that he fires him in chapter 5 of the same book.
That was fast, I said to myself but his Boss wasn’t the kind that took a liking to corrupt employees who are willing to use his name to get what they wanted for themselves. That was Gehazi for you.
When Naaman heard from his Israelite maid that, in Samaria there was a man of God who could heal him from leprosy, he asked his boss the King of Aram to write an introductory letter to the King of Israel to accept Naaman in his Kingdom since Naaman wasn’t just an ordinary citizen but the Captain of the Army of the Kingdom of Aram.
For his journey to Israel he carried with him 750 pounds of silver, 6000 pieces of gold and 10 changes of clothes as gifts for Prophet Elisha. But when he got to Elisha’s house, Elisha sent Gehazi to meet with him and gave him instructions to wash in the Jordan 7 times.
Naaman was angry at the Prophet for not even having come out to see him and just asked him to go do it himself but when he did it, he got healed and came back to the prophet’s house to thank him and offer him the gifts.
Elisha declined taking the gifts even after several attempts from Naaman persuading him to take the gifts. I believe Gehazi was in the corner busy saying who would decline to take 6000 pieces of gold and 750 pieces of silver.
But Elisha did and Naaman asked him if he could be so generous to allow him take some dirt from Israel and he accepted and they parted ways. But as they were making a bend down the valley Naaman saw someone running after them and stepped down from his chariot and there he was ready to build his false case. Gehazi smiled and without hesitation, he belted out, my boss says two young men came to him from the group of prophets in the hill Country of Ephraim, please give them 75 pounds of silver and 2 changes of clothes.
But Naaman insisted on giving him 150 pounds of silver in 2 bags and gave him to servants to escort him. When he reached the top of the hill he sent them away and stealthily went back to his office. I bet he felt smart about himself as he stood in front of his master.
Elisha asked him, where have you been Gehazi, he quickly answers nowhere, I have been around and Elisha tells him, my heart went with you as you asked Naaman to give you the pieces of silver and the change of clothes.
There and then it was apparent Gehazi was to lose his job. Elisha told him “now you and your children will catch Naaman’s disease, you will have leprosy forever!”
When Gehazi left his boss he was sick with leprosy and this got me thinking about what God gives bosses.
Vision, every employer or Company owner you know had a vision and that vision came to life as that company you work for. The same ability God gave your employer to see that vision is the same ability he gives them to protect it. That ability is through giving them more visions about where they are going wrong and where they are doing right.
That is why Prophet Elisha’s heart was able to go with Gehazi as he took the bribe and it broke his heart to find out that his employee was a selfish, self centered person who didn’t care about tarnishing his name, honour and integrity as a prophet just to get for himself 150 pounds of silver and 2 changes of clothes.
Taking bribes doesn’t only tarnish one person’s name but also the name of the person in whose name you take it, let’s say a company.
Currently even if the Uganda Police Force changes their name people can never stop calling them corrupt because of a few officers who didn’t see past greed. That kind of leprosy will never heal from that organization for generations to come.
With the kind of C.V Elisha had, you wouldn’t go around using his name falsely but Gehazi did and that shows you a lot about his character. Gehazi didn’t respect Elisha enough to fear using his name falsely even if he knew what his power was capable of doing to him.
Taking a bribe will make you lose your job and with this kind of history behind you, it will be hard for anyone to trust you enough and hire you even if you change your ways.
Taking bribes will affect your children; people will always remember the history of their father/mother and refuse to hire them. They will be forced to live under false identities to get by in life. That is really bigger than leprosy.
If they are at school fellow students will laugh at them and demoralize them, they won’t be comfortable in school anymore.
Your parents will also be despised by people in their community because of just one action of their son or daughter who took a bribe.
Therefore before you take a bribe think about the shelf life of your career, the consequences of your actions and who you’ll hurt with just that particular decision.