Once again I have been confronted with the question of God's mind with regard to giving. While teaching the New Focus money management class for Westown Jubilee Housing, students are asked to go through a list of money beliefs they might hold*. Every belief on the list is incorrect. The point of the exercise is to show students that your money training (what you learned from your family) + your money beliefs = your money behavior.
We did the exercise and then I told the group that anything they had checked off was false. One woman had a real problem with that as she strongly held to two of the beliefs. One was "Money is the root of all evil." Quickly the class was able to convince her that no, money is not the root of all evil, the LOVE of money is according to I Timothy 6:10.
The next belief she was willing to fight for even with an example was, "Good people help others, even if they really can't afford it." With her example, giving her cigarette money to someone in need, I was able to convince her that she did not have to go into debt or not pay a bill in order to give that money.
My guess about the New Testament principles of giving would be that we are not to store up money but to give freely. But what about an emergency fund? Retirement? I know how Don and I tend to do things, but I am curious as to how you guide your decisions about giving. I can see scriptures on both sides.
*This sheet of beliefs is taken from Dave Treul's MSU Extension Class on money management.