This past Sunday I did a message on God's perspective on our money and we focused on Luke 16 and Jesus' Parable of the Shrewd Manager. In the middle of the parable as Jesus transitions from the story to explaining what He meant and the lessons people should take-away, He made this statement "For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light." One of the reasons Jesus included this statement is that He was telling the religious people, the Jewish leaders, those following Him to pay attention because there are things they can learn from people that are successful in this world even if they don't follow God (often times Christians are quick to dismiss non-Christians and don't examine their lives to see if there are lessons they might be able to learn to help them in their pursuit of God.)
From that perspective, I read the book The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko a few months ago. These two professors did a large study on the behaviors and lifestyles of the wealthy in America. What they found goes against the stereotype and assumptions many people have about what a wealthy person looks like, the house they live in, the car they drive and how they use their money. What they found is that most wealthy people look very normal, live in modest homes in middle class or upper-middle class neighborhoods, drive used cars, are frugal with their money, fly economy, and wear clothes they found on sale or at a discount retailer.
I really found this book interesting. While as a follower of Christ, my main goal is not to accumulate large amounts of wealth, learning and understanding many of the habits of the wealthy does allow me to maximize the use of my resources and finances in a way to help others and serve God. Interestingly, some of the habits and ways of living the wealthy pursue are Biblical and similar to God's desire on how we should handle our money.