The Faithful Pacesetters

Learning leadership from those who led in the Bible

The Danger Of Inappropriate Gifts

Bible Characters: Joel & Abijah (Sons of Samuel)

When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges for Israel.  The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba.  But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.  1 Samuel 8:1-3 NIV

How can this scripture apply to current day leaders?

Outside Influence

One reason your vendors might be giving you gifts is so they can secure your business.  Receiving a gift with the intention of making favorable decisions towards an organization can be improper.

At our family business this is written in our handbook, “Employees should only accept gifts with discretion and in such a way as they do not obligate themselves or cause themselves to be influenced in the performance of their duties.”

We all need to guard our decisions against the influence of gifts.


Inappropriate gifts are often given and received.  Sometimes the inappropriateness is the actual item that is given.  Other times the gifts could be viewed as favoritism towards one individual over another.

The holidays can be a time where this situation arises.  Even though it’s a personal Christmas gift, everything needs to be done above reproach so our actions are not viewed or judged incorrectly by others.  A good practice is to give individual gifts of equal value.

What are the Potential Consequences?

For Samuel, one result of Joel and Abijah’s consent to bribery was the desire for the Israelites to have a King instead of Judges.

For current day leaders the consequences may go beyond dissatisfaction with other staff members.  A person found to accept bribes can lose their job and even face legal challenges.


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One thought on “The Danger Of Inappropriate Gifts

  1. Fingers crossed for those who improperly inhabit positions of leadership and power lose their footing in this world in equal proportion to the level of corruption and deceitfulness that was displayed during their tenure. The faster the better!

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