Tag Archives: disciples

What Is Healthy Margin?

When I started school¬† in the early to mid 1980’s one of the first things we learned to do when we began to write was to draw a margin on our paper.

We would measure a couple of inches at the top and bottom to the left of the paper and draw a straight line down. The teacher would tell us that margins are important. There were two reasons we drew a margin. The first was to make sure everything was neatly in a straight line (that was about the only thing that was neat on my paper, my writing was and still is horrible!); the second was to be able to make notes or correct mistakes in the margin. These days we have computers to correct our mistakes, but back then we had to correct them in the margin.

As important as margins were back in elementary school, so personal margins are important in our lives today. So often we just tackle life head on without preparing for what we are going to be doing. Drawing a margin took no more than a minute, but it enabled the paper to be neat and also supplied a place to correct mistakes.

It only takes a short amount of time to create personal margin, yet it can create order in our lives and also a place to reflect and correct our mistakes. So often people forget to create healthy personal margin and their lives become cluttered and the different aspects of their lives start to run into each other.

I have found if I don’t create margin between the different parts of my life I start to stress, I start to let people down, I start to get overwhelmed, I start to break promises, I start to forget things and I start to go from problem to problem.

Basically margin is creating space in your life to plan, think, mend, enjoy and take a break from all the things that full our lives. Jesus was a man who created margin. Just ask the disciples who often found Jesus missing. He was not neglecting them, just drawing margins in His life so that when He was needed He was able to be fully engaged.

Try to create some margin in your life this week. I know your spouse, your kids, your friends, your employees and your peers will appreciate it.


Jack In A Box

jack-in-the-boxOne of the most pointless toys I had when I was a child was a Jack In A Box. I remember as a child I use to think, ‘how said that this man gets put in a box then only comes out when people want to have fun!’

I use to think the saddest part about Jack was that even when he popped out of the box he still really never left the box. I had other toys that had the freedom go anywhere I could take them, but poor old Jack never went anywhere without his box.

I’ve realized that a Jack In A Box is not just a toy for children, but something that is very real and there are many Jacks who live in this world who have been put in a box and now they are stuck. I believe the most damaging thing we can do to a person is put them in a box. Boxes were made to store our things, they were made to transport our things and they were made to organize our things; they were never made for people to live in!

Individuals for centuries have been put in boxes. Whether it is the box of follower, not leader; or the box of great assistant, not manager material. It maybe the box of troublemaker, not team player; or the box of mediocre, not of excellence and greatness. I know in my life I have been put in boxes by other people. They have viewed my personality, or my experience, or my gifts and put me in a box. When I have tried to step out of that box people have discouraged me, laughed at me and told me I would fail.

I have found that the boxes that people put us into very often are the things that hold back the plan God has for our lives. People carry their boxes everywhere they go, but to reach your potential that God desires for you the box has to go. I have found that God does not work very well with people who live in a box! God works best with those who are able to stand free in the knowledge that God has created them for an incredible task in this life and even though this world may think it is impossible for that person to accomplish, they know when God has planned something it will come to pass!

We see an example of this in the Book of Acts 2:6-8. The disciples had just experienced something that was very different. They had seen what looked like fire over each others heads, they had heard a noise that sounded like a freight train and now they were speaking in different languages they had never learned! When the people heard them speaking in these languages they were shocked and confused. They wanted clarification! You see these disciples were from Galilee, and people from Galilee were not intelligent enough to speak other languages, they couldn’t even speak their own very well!¬† The disciples had been put in the Galilean box, and now the Holy Spirit had come to them and they started stepping out of the man made box they had lived their lives in. We all know what happened next, they turned the world upside down.

What box are you living in today? Do you want to live your life like Jack or do you want to make a difference in this world? It’s time to step out of that box, know in your heart that God has an incredible plan for your life and now go and start fulfilling your God given destiny!