Draw a line in the sand.
The Amish want to be good stewards of God’s resources—time, money, material goods. They know that convenience comes with a cost. They don’t want to be dependent on outside sources (such as electricity or gas). Convenience means loss of something valuable. For example, fast food means less nutrition. More stuff means more maintenance. They’re willing to say no.
Amish proverb: “Things that steal our time are usually the easiest to do.”
The Lesson: Technology has its limits. And technology isn’t all good. Evaluate purchases more thoughtfully. Think of where a purchase or an added expense will lead your family. More time together or less? More stress or less? Reframe your view of time and money and goods as God’s resources.
Watch your words.
The Amish continually stress the importance of filtering their speech.
Amish proverb: “Words break no bones, but they can break hearts” and “Mincing your words makes it easier if you have to eat them later.”
The Lesson: Say less. Prayer more.
Nothing replaces face-to-face visits.
Back in the day when telephones emerged on the scene, the Amish bishops made a deliberate decision to keep the telephone out of the house. They didn’t want to interrupt family life. But they drop everything for a face-to-face visit.
Amish proverb: “Use friendship as a drawing account, but don’t forget to make a deposit.”
The Lesson: Nurture relationships by investing face-to-face time in them. No technology can substitute for the real thing.
Honor the Sabbath.
An Amish person would never think of working on a Sunday. But it’s more than that—they truly cherish their Sabbath. They spend time on Saturday to make Sunday a smooth and easy day.
Amish proverb: “Many things I have tried to grasp and have lost. That which I have placed in God’s hands I still have.”
The Lesson: Strive to make Sunday a different day than other days. A day of rest is important on so many levels—time to worship, time to reflect, time to re-energize. A re-charge your battery day.
Waiting isn’t a verb.
It’s an attitude. For the Amish, time is not something to be mastered, but respected. What a contrast to the non-Amish perception of time: there’s never enough of it!
Amish proverb: “Patience is a virtue that carries a lot of wait.”
The Lesson: The Amish can teach us to slow down. They remind us that Christians should look at life from a different perspective because we are part of a different kingdom—one that stretches into eternity.
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Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction, and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. The Search won a 2012 Carol Award. The Waiting was a finalist for a 2011 Christy Award. The Choice was a finalist for a 2011 Carol Award. The Letters is a finalist for a Christian Retailing 2014 Best Award. Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World and Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life were both finalists for the ECPA Book of the Year (2010, 2011). Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. She travels back east a couple of times each year for research.
Suzanne’s latest release, The Quieting, is now available!