I live just a few miles from Amish country. On a recent sojourn there, I was amused (and a bit dismayed) by the incongruous nature of modern Amish life:
- The satellite dish on the Amish home
- The gaslights on the walls near the Japanese-built electronic cash register
- The handmade Amish furniture trucked down from Holmes County, OH by some long haul freight company, but the lack of local delivery of purchased furniture because “our horses won’t go that far”
- The handmade clothing paired with Air Jordans
It’s easy to be critical when the inconsistency is so glaring, and there is much to be admired in the fact that the Amish still live more simply than most, but I had to wonder.
What about us? How incongruous is our living as Christians in a World that hates us, desires to control us, and does a pretty good job of derailing most of us? How are we pairing the handmade work of Christ with the mass-produced worldly nature of Belial (2nd Cor. 6:15)? Or what rigid, dead legalism do we uphold when we should be living under Spirit-filled grace?
I think a large part of it comes down to models. The Amish kids model what their parents do even as we hope to model our Christian walk on the Christians we admire. I know that I keep searching for Christians who are “doing it right,” but they are painfully few and far between.
Leonard Ravenhill once said that one day someone is going to open the Bible, truly believe it, and then we are all going to be ashamed. I don’t ever want to be ashamed because I got distracted, or misunderstood what I saw or read, or didn’t even bother at all. Too much is at stake.
So how do we live congruous lives? Lives that live out the fullness of the Gospel? Lives that daily make a difference in other people’s lives? Lives so harmonious that the lost stand up and take notice?