In our noisy, busy and changeable society it’s easy to see the appeal of the simple, content life the Amish appear to have. When I see how many things they can happily live without (phones, cars etc) I realise how much stuff, I think I need, but really I don’t.
Often when watching TV programmes about the Amish we can focus on their lack of stuff but forget to notice their love of God.
At CCM:Withington we recently looked at the Spiritual Discipline of Simplicity and learned that its not primarily about living on less but about desiring the right thing.
Sometimes if we are honest we can get over-worried about family, job, future or money but Jesus is pretty clear when it comes to worrying about these things. The solution is to ‘seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’
So what does it mean to seek first the kingdom of God? Well in short it’s seeking to do things God’s way in your life. It’s when he is your priority.
This hit home for me a while back. I’d been a Christian for a number of years but realised that there were things in my life that were more important to me than God. This was a difficult pill to swallow, but through a time of reflection and prayer, in my heart I gave these things up, refocused my life on him and, I got the things I had previously desired as well.
In short, contentment comes through a simple Christian life. This doesn’t necessarily come from cutting yourself off from the outside world and giving up all your mod cons. It comes when your heart desires God above all else.
John Wesley describes how the simple Christian life can have great effect on the world. He says: ‘“Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergyman or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon the earth.”
The simple Christian life, may not be all glamour and glory but it is very powerful, very fulfilling and very effective.
If you’d like to know more about this topic then why not listen to this recent sermon from CCM:Withington.
Written by:Andy Brownlee