What is the place of money in the Christian life for the Tanzanian? Pastor John spoke of how wanting wealth is not a wrong thing for a Christian, if the purpose of that wealth is to be shared. We learned from a discussion with our language tutor in our Dodoma days that praying for God not to make you rich might sound selfish, because it’s like you don’t want to have to share with others!
A senior TAFES associate who works as a psychologist added another layer to this recently in a discussion with staff. She spoke of how being an entrepreneur is very in vogue at the moment, and how this is seen as a way to obtain wealth. But, she said, being an entrepreneur is all about going it alone: you might be rich but everyone else works for you.
Yet God made a woman so that the man wouldn’t be alone, and he made them to have children, and after giving them this charge, only then did he give them the world. If we pursue money abstract from relationships, this is poverty! We are made to depend on one another.
Money is not only for sharing with others; we are also enriched when we pursue prosperity in community rather than as individuals.
And she commended the TAFES staff for their commitment to TAFES, at the expense of pursuing wealth for themselves. It sounds a bit like something Jesus said.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.