Close To The Edge: The Sin of Marginal Living
15Speaking to the people, he went on, "Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot." Luke 12.15
Margin: an amount allowed or available beyond what is actually necessary: to allow a margin for error.
- A limit in condition, capacity, etc., beyond or below which something ceases to exist, be desirable, or be possible
- We are part of a society that doesn’t respect boundaries...
- We live AT or BEYOND our means
- We overspend & under-save
- We overeat & and under-exercise
- We over promise & under-deliver
- We overcommit & just merely don’t show up
⇔We live to close to our limits...this means:
- we almost always overdraw our account
- We live from crisis to crisis
- We on edge because we’re on the edge
⇔Are we mismanaging and mis-budgeting our lives?
We think we can have it all!! (Willy Wonka movie...)
⇔When business finds there is no margin in a product it is discontinued
⇔When a leader’s life lacks margin:
- prayerlessness results
- become too locked up to be poured into (i.e. a closed fist)
- running on empty, which = your own strength & ability
⇔When do you know you’re running on empty?
(Refer to margins article)
- sickness/poor health
- irrational behavior
⇔Jesus had an internal alarm, he was bad because he would get away from the crowds to be alone (John 6.22):
- He was going to heal Jairus’ daughter when the Bleeding Woman touched him
- He had enough time to do ministry when he encountered the funeral progression in Nain.
- He had enough time and energy to train his successors
- He catered a wedding...or at least made a wine run
- My soul is exceedingly sorrowful until death...wait here will I go pray (Matt 26.38)
- He resurfaced with the statement, not my will but yours be done
- he acquired the margin to obey the Father and save us!!
⇔A Margin-less life has no room for delay gratification. Why?
- It needs excitement now! because the already-full life is so painful & empty
⇔So...layway has morphed into Instant Credit, or... “rent-a-life”
⇔We’re so full, that we neglect....
- We neglect our marriages (they require trust, time and work)
- We neglect our children (children require energy, attention and wisdom)
- We neglect our health (emotionally, spiritually and physically)
- Joy (you’ll appreciate what you have)
- Vacation (stay-cation or day-cation)...sacrifice and save
- Set a reasonable bedtime
- Find margin for a hobby or past-time that refreshes you
- Was designed to build margin into faith
- was designed to keep spiritually vibrant
- was designed to remind us we aren’t little gods
⇔SABBATH CHALLENGE: 2 HRS WEEKS TO LISTEN, PERCEIVE, NOTICE, THING, REFLECT
We seem afraid to rest
We seem afraid to vacation
We seem too tense to relax
We’re “on” all the time.
Oftentimes, God doesn’t turn ON until we turn OFF (2 Cor 12.10)
⇔If we don’t....
- Our rushed lives will soon slow us down
- Our full plates will soon starve us...and empty us out
- Too many dreams will cause us nightmares
And if you should be “LUCKY” enough to GET IT ALL...
You’ll quickly find you can’t HANDLE IT ALL
You’ll risk LOSING IT ALL
And You’ll die empty & LEAVING IT ALL BEHIND!!
22 What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? 23 All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless. 24 A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, Ecc 2:22-24 NIV