Thanks to SRV for the post title - here's a bit of background music for you.
As people experience the psychological and financial impact of a recession, here's a summary of what we've laid out at our church to help people think through what to do about money.
The Scriptures are deadly serious about money - take the same approach.
There's a reason Jesus talks so much about money in the gospels. In my estimation, the most comprehensive resource on what the Scriptures teach about money is Randy Alcorn's Money, Possessions and Eternity.
What you do is driven by who you are.
Your identity shapes your activity. For us as a church, that means we make decisions about money in the light of our identity as missionaries in community empowered by the gospel.
What you do with money is a community project.
Because we are so easily deceived about what constitutes what we need versus what we want, we need other people who know us and love us enough to listen to us and ask good clarifying questions.
Pursue simplicity and generosity.
The biblical pattern when finances get tight is not to maintain and save. Without dismissing the issue of savings, the pattern throughout the Scriptures is to live simply and generously.
Take one more step.
Biblical simplicity and generosity pushes the envelope of what culture considers to be normal. If the gospel creates a people who cut against the grain of societal standards, that means that the followers of Jesus will be more rigorous in their pursuit of simplicity and more lavish in their generosity than their friends and neighbors who don't know Jesus.
Depend on the grace of God in the gospel.
Rigorous simplicity and lavish generosity is impossible apart from God powerfully rewiring how we think and feel about money. And the issue seems to come down to this - money exists as currency that purchases our greatest security, comfort and satisfaction. The question is whether we find those things in a life that is centered on God or some other source of hope and delight.