It seems FIFA is the latest organisation to be mired in accusations of corruption. In their case it is in regard to the award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
However, whether or not the accusations prove to be well founded, FIFA are far from alone. In recent years we’ve seen accusations of corruption directed toward the Metropolitan Police Force, and then there was the series of accusations associated with the parliamentary expenses scandals. There seems no end to the corrupt practices of our big banks and there are sections of the Media that are under investigation for illegally intercepting private ‘phone messages and paying bribes to the police for information. People in entertainment and sport are not immune, with some accused of dodgy tax avoidance schemes and others accused of accepting bribes to fix the outcome of sporting events. Even the food industry has been caught passing off horse meat for more expensive cuts.
Root of the Problem is Greed
Corruption in one form or another appears to be spreading through all sections of society and it is even more shocking when it touches those professionals who have traditionally been held up as the most upright and trustworthy citizens.
The root of the problem is the perennial one of greed. It’s not simply that someone wants something because of an actual need. It’s a case of always wanting more – more than they already have and more than other people have. Greed, it would seem, is insatiable and drives people to behave in the most deplorable ways.
The bible is full of dire warnings for such people – warnings that are applicable to every one of us.
Solomon, famous for his wisdom, says to the man of “a corrupt mouth, who winks with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, who plots evil with deceit in his heart” that ” disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy“.
Trouble is, there is no indication of when such disaster will strike. It may be as soon as tomorrow in the form of police officers (or media) knocking on your door early in the morning, followed by weeks or months of scandal and shame, ending in a ruined career. Others may appear to ‘get away with it’ for so long that they convince themselves that nobody will ever find out.
However, the bible tells us there is a day of reckoning for every one of us when we have to answer to God for everything we have done in this life – every untruth, every dodgy deal, every bribe, every false claim.
Insatiable Nature of Greed
Amazingly, greed continues to drive people even when all logic and reason tells them that they will never realise any benefit from their efforts.
In another place, Solomon speaks of a man who is alone in this world, without family or anyone to inherit his estate when he dies. Yet, says Solomon, “There was no end to his toil, his eyes were not content with his wealth.” This continues even though the man asks himself the rhetorical questions, “For whom am I toiling and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?“. We can probably all relate to this attitude of mind and have to agree with Solomon when he says, “This too is meaningless— a miserable business!”
There is a Better Way
The bible offers a much better way. Most people have heard the saying, though they may not know that it comes from the bible:
“Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”
That attitude is only really experienced when we encounter Jesus Christ. He lived in this world more than two thousand years ago, but in a different sense is alive today and is able to transform your life so completely that others will barely recognise you as the same person.
It will cost you lots – all those negative attitudes such as greed, dishonesty, selfishness and a host of others that you are better off without. In their place, you get a whole new set of values – values that are wholly admirable.
But all this begs the question “Is this what you want?”