I disagree with Albert Einstein. OK, laugh. All the same, I question his notion that “The only source of knowledge is experience.”
The reason I disagree with the guy who articulated the theory of relativity is because it assumes that our interpretation of experiences is accurate. If that’s true, then why do most of us make the same mistakes over and over?
You see, the problem with Einstein’s assertion is that it doesn’t take into account that The Fall rendered faulty our reasoning about our own life.
That’s why we need someone even smarter than Einstein to interpret life in light of reality, and there is only One qualified. You know where I’m going with this. As the creator of all things, God is the only One who thoroughly understands reality. The great thing is, He’s written it all down for us. It’s only when we interpret our lives through the lens of His Word that experience can become a source of knowledge.
Let’s take money as an example. Raise your hand if you’ve make mistakes. Keep your hand up if you’ve made the same mistakes over and over. Now, raise your other hand if you’ve deluded yourself into thinking that somehow you would be exempt from the laws of mathematics that God established?
Ok, let’s all put our arms down. Mine are getting tired.
Even as God may use painful financial issues as a means of sanctification, still believers are called to be good stewards of what He has provided. At the bottom of this blog there is a list of excellent resources that can help Christians understand what the Bible says about money and personal finances.
But, please allow me to call to your attention one particular tool that has helped our family apply the principles of biblical stewardship to the day-to-day reality of mortgage payments, groceries, utility bills and all the rest. It’s an online home budget program called Mvelopes.
I first heard of Mvelopes through Crown Financial Ministries, founded by the late Larry Burkett under the name of Christian Financial Concepts. It’s a comprehensive Web-based home budgeting system that incorporates tools to help families get out and stay out of debt.
The software uses the proven “envelope” metaphor for helping users set up a budget, track income, expenses, credit cards, savings and more. The system is flexible enough to be applied to most any financial need of a family including saving a little each month for expenses that come up once a year. Imagine having the money for a vacation or Christmas rather than being tempted to putting it on the credit card.
Speaking of credit cards, Mvelopes syncs with your bank and credit card companies. So, when you use your credit card to purchase a shirt for $25, that purchase shows up in your Mvelopes program. You assign it to the “clothes” envelope, and Mvelopes automatically puts the $25 into an envelope marked “credit card payments.” When the credit card bill arrives a few weeks later, the $25 is waiting to be sent to the credit card company. Call me simple, but “Wow!”
There are three versions of Mvelopes: 1) free limited version, 2) premier version at $95 per year and 3) a personalized version that includes personal financial coaching.
Try it. It’s not rocket science, and you don’t have to be an Einstein to benefit from using Mvelopes. All it takes is a desire to be a good steward.
Mvelopes – http://www.mvelopes.com/
Crown Financial Ministries – http://www.crown.org/
Financial Issues with Dan Celia – www.financialissues.org, a stewardship ministry largely focused on investments. Financial Issues is associated with American Family Association.