"the act of corrupting or the state of being corrupt, moral perversion, depravity, perversion of integrity, rot, pollution, foulness, contamination."
The other night we had an awesome conversation at my youth fellowship about being IN the world but not OF the world. The speaker's question was, "what would kenya look like if all the youth determined to live by God's standards and not the worlds standards?" There were some great answers but the one that really caught my attention was corruption. We would not be corrupt.
Corruption in Kenya is often linked to government and police. However, a pastor in the audience challenged us all with a humble thought. He explained, "Most times we think corruption is for other people yet fail to realize that we are doing it to but in small ways. For example, after this meeting we know there is tea and mahambri (a local donut-type food). The church provides 1 cup of tea and 1 mahambri for each of us. Yet most of you go and take 3 or 4 mahambri which are suppose to be delegated for others. In the end, people don't get their share because you were greedy and took it."
We all laughed because we all know it is true.
My roommate explained to me the other day about the lunch program at his school. He said that they used to be able to go out of the compound at lunch and buy from some outside joints. However, the principal's wife decided to make a business out of it and opened a small lunch program in the school. The principal then banned them all from leaving school property forcing them to buy from his wife. And my roommate said the food is horrid. At the expense of his students, the principal is allowing his wife to make some money. Disgusting.
I then remember volunteering in a small Christian nursery school. The children used to give the snacks to the teacher to keep in her desk so that the monkeys don't snatch them away. At the end of the day, the kids would line up to get their snacks from the teacher. As the teacher handed each snack to the kid, she would take a large sip or bite. If it was a juice box, she would push the straw in and take a few sips. If it was a bag of peanuts, she would rip it open and pour a whole bunch into her hands. I was mortified as I watched this supposedly God fearing teacher taking from her students what has been delegated to them.
Most people don't realize they are corrupt. Maybe they don't truly understand what corruption is. From what I understand from scripture and other definitions, corruption is taking something that wasn't delegated to you in the first place.
So at the end of the youth fellowship, we all headed over for tea and mahambri. As I was chatting with a friend, she blurted out, "I am going to get another one. I'm so hungry. Do you want one?" Appalled, I asked her, "Did you not listen to what was said today? You realize you are taking from someone else what is theirs." "Yes I know but I am so hungry." She replies.
I don't think she was very impressed with my response as she didn't talk to me the rest of the night.