The final section of Biblia na Utajiri is about focus, and it summarises a number of the themes of the book so far, including the importance of wisdom, and the necessity of not despairing or giving up.
Ufoo begins by using the example of a photograph where the focus is out because the photographer has been shaking. So too with the picture of your life – if you are swayed or scared that will mess it up, but it you are calm, things will be in focus and your life will be improved.
The focus of the Bible is Jesus, she says, quoting Jesus’ command to love God and love neighbour, and how eternal life is found in knowing God and belonging to Christ. The connection to wealth is that the source of all life and prosperity is God. It’s in being connected to him, and learning to live in his ways, that you find wealth. This is why the unmissable emphasis is on God’s wisdom.
“If you avoid trickery, impatience and despair, God will be near you, totally ready to help you to understand and receive his word into your heart, so you can fulfil his purpose.” Much of the book has been aimed at these three things: trickery, impatience and despair. Wisdom is the antidote to all three, teaching you the right ways, in the right timing, and that it is indeed possible.
Ufoo maintains a theocentrism here, that is, she is concerned with God’s purposes. But in her theology, the life God brings can not be separated into the spiritual or the bodily or the societal or even the monetary, as all of these have an impact on one another. She doesn’t seem to account at all for much of what is in the Epistles about strength in weakness, or the shame of the cross, or even Jesus’ words about the last being first. But then, I feel like this is something that I, and the Christianity I come from, are spectacularly poor at too. I can point to those passages as needing to be integrated into our theology, but we are already wealthy and powerful and honoured in global terms, and do little to divest ourselves of that. If we know the theory, we struggle with the practice.
Ufoo concludes her book with a call to change how you think. This comes from knowing God and allowing his wisdom to seep deeply into your life. Change how you think and you will change your actions, she says – because you might start to think, “It’s not that hard to get wealth,” which might then mean you actually do something about it. Pray to God to give you strength. Her concluding words: it is possible.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.