Guest blog from Suzanne Woods Fisher for “Amish Values for Your Family”
Five More Things I’ve Learned from the Amish that Have Nothing to Do with being
Amish and Have Everything to Do with being a Christian:
Live humbly. This is the basis of the Amish life. They don’t waste, they reuse and
recycle, they live simply and without luxury, they provide for each other’s needs. Daily
life is embroidered with gratitude for all God has given them. Two prayers bookend
every meal—a meal begins with thanks to God for the nourishing food, and ends with
gratitude for what was received.
Amish proverb: “The blessing of sharing outweighs the blessing of having.”
The Lesson: Choose simplicity over clutter. Economy over luxury. And give thanks!
A task takes as long as it takes. It seems like such a paradox—the Amish are busy, yet
unhurried. They have a deliberateness in their actions—one job isn’t more important than
the other. And they don’t have televisions or computers or radios or telephones—which
gives them more time to cook, fish at the lake, enjoy a good book, and spend with their
children and grandchildren. They have time to slow down a bit—to smell the roses along
Amish proverb: “Every day that dawns brings something to do that can never be done as
The Lesson: Reduce the time where attention is focused on electronics (computer! Cell
phone! Television!) and strive to be more emotionally present when with others.
Success and Size are not related. The Amish have rapidly adopted to the demands of
the modern business world. Their self-owned businesses are remarkably successful, but
not at the cost of everything else. They view money as a tool, not the goal.
Amish proverb: “Love, peace, and happiness in the home is of infinitely more value than
honor, fame and wealth.”
The Lesson: Never let ambition destroy life’s better goals.
They teach us not to seek vengeance but to forgive. The Amish take the Lord’s Prayer
seriously—if they are asking God to forgive them their sins, they must be willing to
forgive others who have sinned against them. Being a forgiving person is an everyday
Amish proverb: “It is far better to forgive and forget than to resent and remember.”
The Lesson: No doubt you’re familiar with the Nickel Mines tragedy. If the Amish can
forgive the killer of their children, can’t we forgive a friend for not inviting us to a party?
Or a driver who cuts us off? Make forgiveness your default button. A habit. An everyday
God has a plan. To the Amish, everything passes through the hands of God. Everything.
Joys and sorrows, both. God is sovereign over all—from weather to illness to births to
who’s in the White House. They yield to God’s perfect will, trust Him for what they
don’t understand, and thank Him for what they do.
Amish proverb: “God’s hand that holds the ocean’s depth can hold my small a
hand, which guides the universe, can carry all my cares.”
The Lesson: Trusting God isn’t passive—it takes a lot of work! But what peace and joy
are available to us when we put our faith in the Almighty God. Everything, ultimately,
works out for good.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction and the
host of a weekly radio program called Amish Wisdom. Her most recent book, Amish
Values for Your Family released in August. The Waiting is a finalist for a 2011 Christy
Award. Amish Peace: Simple and Amish Proverbs were both finalists for the ECPA Book
of the Year (2010, 2011). Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, W.D.
Benedict, who was raised Plain. Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people
and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world. When Suzanne isn't writing
or bragging to her friends about her first new grandbaby (!), she is raising puppies
for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you just can't take life too
seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone's underwear in its
mouth. Keep up on Suzanne's latest news on Facebook, Twitter and on her blog!