(Proverbs 17:8 KJV) A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.
The NASB calls this a "bribe" (7810). What do you think of when you hear the word “bribe” (gift KJV) (7810) ? I think of corrupt politicians or inspectors being bought off to endorse shoddy construction. To me the word has a totally negative idea. This verse is hard to understand. Is this a negative statement or a positive statement? Much of your view depends on who translated it. Some translations say “bribe,” others say “gift.” This is an example of how the same word and action can have totally different moral implications. Perhaps this is endorsing bribery. We get mixed statements about bribery in Proverbs, for instance see verse 23 which is totally negative.
Other cultures don’t seem to have the problem with a “bribe” (7810) that we do. It is expected that there will be a little something extra. We might also call it a tip. We tip for good service, right? What is that if it is not a bribe?
As believers we should do what is right regardless of reward. As a follower of Christ you should not need as much as a smile to give good service. This is one of the ways that we can make a difference as salt and light in our society. It used to be assumed because our culture accepted this value. That assumption is disappearing. Good service and hard work will soon be a way to witness because it will be so unusual.
So? Don’t serve with your hand held out. As servants we are called to give, not receive. It is a hard job, but someone has to do it.