Lip It or Live It?
In a recent BBC article entitled “Letter from Africa: Kenya unveils biblical strategy to tackle corruption”, the writer states: “Corruption is eating us up alive, with new scandals emerging day after day…The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the country’s official body for fighting corruption, appears overwhelmed by the scale of the problem…Indeed the problem appears to be getting worse…The figure for those who paid bribes to receive government services has risen to 62%, up from 46% just two years ago…So running out of ideas for tackling this menace, the anti-corruption commission has turned to a new weapon – the Bible.”
The writer goes on to ask the question: “What about non-christians?…I personally have nothing against the Bible. I read it regularly and I know of quite a few characters in there who were deeply corrupt, starting with Judas Iscariot, a disciple of Christ who betrayed him for a fee only to take his own life later. But there are a few questions that I and fellow Kenyans would like the good bishop to bear in mind. Many of the top leaders who have been accused of, or charged with, corruption are church-going, Bible readers. Is there another version of the holy book that the bishop could recommend to them?”
If corruption is to be tackled head on in any country around the world, we are going to have to move beyond just lip service. Just saying you read the Bible and/or attend church is not going to cut it.
In ancient Israel, the prophet Jeremiah was lamenting about the nation’s corruption. They had “turned their backs to God and not their faces”, immorality mattered little to her, and truth had perished. Than Jeremiah used these piercing words to describe Israel: “You are always on their lips but far from their hearts.” (Jeremiah 12:2b)
If integrity is to grip a nation, it must move beyond lip service and become a matter of the heart. Integrity is a lifestyle that cannot be forced on you, it must start within the heart and work its way from the inside out!
This past September, while training a group of leaders from across Nairobi, Bill and I were privileged to have a brief meeting with Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, the leader of the Ethics and Anti-Anti-Corruption Commission of Kenya. We presented him with a copy of our CLI manual.
The Six Pillars of Integrity taught in the manual are biblically based, differentiating between characters who lived a lifestyle of integrity no matter the cost, and others whose corrupt leadership led to their downfall.
As part of the CLI process, the manual is a strategic component of our cohort experience (integrity groups of ten people). We firmly believe that information applied on a regular basis, will lead to genuine and lasting transformation.
If we are going to use the Bible to fight corruption, we must not just “lip it” we must live it!
Note: To read the full BBC article, click on this link https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-45863819?fbclid=IwAR3zaDf2UPrzG-EHSyHLnpuMr_yPQfUyaVMRrHvfJlQc12btUhxPmwV2OLo
Until next time…