So, equality is a good thing, desired by God, but it’s not about everyone having the same so much as everyone having enough. It can’t involve condescension on the part of the giver and must involve empowerment of the receiver. What does that look like in practice?
- Enjoy the gifts of God that come from living in the West. Thank God for them rather than feeling guilty because others do not have them.
- Get educated. If equality is about everyone having enough, how can you act on that if you don’t know?
- Shift your focus from comparisons. Follow Paul’s example and ask: do I have enough to live on? What has God given me that could help others?
- Take the time to hear a people’s needs. For example, in a less literate society, dyslexia is no great health concern or impediment to education. It would be like donating a stack of AFL jumpers to a people that plays soccer! To use the measures of the home culture as the standard for equality is to misunderstand the diversity that ‘equality’ allows.
- Pursue humility. There is no biblical equality when the receiving party is treated as if they are passive or stupid; equality of the 2 Corinthians 8 variety envisions the recipients as friends, requiring the giver to view them as on equal footing with themselves.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.