Reflections
 

By Sharon van Arneman

Look for Sharon's
Saturday Weekly Column
in the


The Daily Hearld



How's Your

Relationship

With Money?

Part 2

 

July 31, 2020

As we continue our money talk this week, let’s just all take a breather right off the bat and agree that these are difficult, scary and uncertain times for all of us. And now’s probably just as good a time as any to take a hard and honest look at our relationship with money and see how big a part financial anxiety is contributing to our level of stress. It’s like the author of Hebrews was speaking directly to our times when he cautioned: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”


Isn’t that comforting? Even when our money may grow wings and fly away – as it so often does – we can still choose contentment, because God has promised to be our portion. But when we have an unbalanced view of money, it can lead to discontentment in all areas of our life. Instead of embracing God’s provision and being grateful for how He’s providing for us, we find ourselves always wishing for something different, always wanting what the other person has, always whining and complaining about what we have or don’t have, always dissatisfied with our lot in life. When we allow the love of money to take root in our heart, it can open the door to all kinds of problems.

Loving money can lead to the loss of health, the breakdown of the family, and poor decision making. It can breed stinginess, greed, hate and dishonesty. It’s often the cause of divorce, suicide, loss of friendships, embezzlement, stealing, cheating, murder, altercations, money laundering, heartlessness and selfishness. Among other evils, loving money can get us entangled in some get-rich-quick scheme, so that instead of looking to work hard and earn money honestly, we go for a shortcut, only to find in the end that “wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time” Proverbs 13:11 (NLT).

But of course, that’s not to say that the rich can’t have a balanced view of money. That’s why the apostle Paul gave this mandate to his young protégé Timothy: “Teach those, who are rich in this world, not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this, they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.”

When our basic everyday needs are met and we don’t have to seek God for our daily provision, it is so easy to feel self-sufficient. Then instead of looking to God as our source, what often happens is that we find ourselves trusting in our earnings, in our bank accounts, in our investments. But God wants us to watch our relationship with money – not so much what amount of money we have, but more so our attitude toward whatever amount that we do have. When we view everything we have – including our money – as from Him, then it matters not whether we have little or much, because He alone is our source.

A FAMILY AFFAIR

It's A Family Affair!

Don't you see that children
are God’s best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand
a chance against you;
you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.
~Psalm 127:3-5 (The Message)



When it comes to church work and Christian service, it has always been a family affair for the van Arnemans. Forever grateful to God for their Christian heritage, Pastor Erick and Sharon have always felt divinely mandated to pass this Christian heritage on to their children, who will then hopefully pass it on to succeeding generations.

Today, they are overjoyed to not only have their daughters (both of whom got saved as tiny tots) serving right alongside them in the ministry, but also their son-in-law,             Denfield Jamaul Hastings, as the new Assistant Pastor of Grace International Baptist Church.

Read Pastor Denfield's testimony below:

As a recently ordained pastor to the work of the gospel ministry, I am so psyched to be the new Assistant Pastor of Grace International Baptist Church and to serve alongside Pastor Erick, who also happens to be my father-in-law. I still can’t believe I am married to his daughter Joy-Ann. My wife has beauty and brains and although I knew she was way out of my league, I couldn’t help falling in love with her. The day she agreed to marry me was the happiest day of my life. 

Born on April 22, 1992, on the island of Antigua, I grew up in a Christian home where I was exposed to the gospel of Christ at an early age. At the tender age of eight, I became aware of my sinful state and repented by faith, acknowledging Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I later got baptized as a teenager and served in the youth ministry as assistant youth leader.

I felt called to preach in my late teens, but it wasn’t until 2010, when I attended a youth conference where I was challenged to live more visibly for Christ, that I started to truly respond to the call. At this youth conference, I delivered my first message. Over the next few years, the desire to not only preach, but to also shepherd and disciple others as a pastor, grew stronger within me, and confirmed the initial call I had felt on my life.

To further my formal training and preparation for the ministry, I completed a number of online courses and attended classes at a local institute in my homeland Antigua. Most of my practical ministerial experience was done at All Saints Baptist Church – the church I grew up in, and also where I served as the formal aide to the pastor. I’m always glad to take up every opportunity afforded me to preach God’s word whatever the setting, and I give God thanks for the opportunity to serve at Grace International Baptist Church.