Benefits to Building Margin

Last Tuesday I began sharing some info I had received about building margin (breathing room) into our lives. I'm back today with a devotional that was written by Rick Warren on this topic. Number 3 and 4 and the ones that really got me.... when I have no margin in my life my relationships suffer and I'm very likely to walk away from the exact things God wants for me to be doing.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

Here are four immediate benefits you'll receive by building margin into your life:

1. Peace of mind. When you're not always hurrying and worrying, you have time to think, time to relax, time to enjoy life. We had a bird come into the building one evening before service. He started singing, and it was just like we'd been given an invitation: "Just relax. Everybody except those sitting directly under the bird, relax."

2. Better health. Unrelenting stress harms our bodies. We all know that, yet we let it continue day after day after day. Many times we only build margin in our lives after the heart attack almost happens or does happen, or the blood pressure skyrockets. Why do we wait until our health plummets before we make this decision? Why not realize that we need to build some margin into our lives now? The truth is your body needs downtime in order to heal. Race cars make pit stops occassionally in order to get repaired. You can't fix anything going 200 miles an hour. Yet, we try to repair ourselves while we're still racing through life. Margin builds in time for better health.

3. Stronger relationships. Lack of margin is one big reason for the collapse of the American family today. When we don't make relationships a priority and make time for each other, our relationships suffer. Relationships take time; and margin provides the time to sit and talk, to listen and enjoy one another, and to provide the comfort we each need.

4. Usefulness in Ministry. When you're overloaded by activity, you can only think of yourself. You're in survival mode, just trying to make it through another day. But being available to God for his use makes all the difference in the world.

When you have margin in your life and God taps you on the shoulder, saying, "I'd like you to do this for me," your first response isn't joy. You first response is, "Oh, no! Another thing to do! Sorry, God - I'd like to do that, but I'm just too busy."

We end up resenting the great opportunities God bring into our lives. But when you have margin, you're available for God to use.

You don't have to be on overload. You don't have to live in survival mode. Begin today to build a buffer around your schedule. Then enjoy the benefits of margin and see what God does next!

11 Thoughts Shared:

Beth in NC said...

Great points Melanie! I pray God will show me how to create better margins.


LauraLee Shaw said...

Excellent wisdom! One I've applied over the past year. It's so easy, though, to let the old way come creepin back in, so the reminders are perfect.

Michele Williams said...

Such a great reminder my dear friend. Thank you... blessings to you...

Beth E. said...

This is so true! I had to learn a few years ago to reset my margins. One of the best decisions of my life! :o)


Jacque. said...

I am finally at a point in my life where this all makes so much sense to me! Thank you so very much.

Meredith said...

Some weeks I'm better at keeping these margins than others. Can I get roll over minutes? I was so busy this past week, I just kept looking at the calender and waiting on my "whew" day. Thank you for your timely wisdom...... and 3 and 4 are probably my problem areas also.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog post today.
I am forever His,

Cheryl said...

So true. Even though I'm frazzled most of each day, I have a sense of being in the right place and there is a such a great load which has been lifted.

It has been a little more than 8 years since I was in the legal field. I had been there 17 years. In the last 8 years things have changed in this industry, but yet a lot is the same. It is just remembering what to do.

Thank you so very much for your visits, prayers and encouragement. They are so very much appreciated.


Darlene said...

Boy...I really needed to read this today! I will be back to read slower and let it soak in.
Thanks for sharing and allowing God to use you!
Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Erica said...

I really needed that today! Thanks for the reminder!

Tricia said...

This is good Melanie! I am so glad you are doing these posts on building margin into our lives... I need these!

Have a great day!