Most of us overload our lives past our limits. How many of you feel like Job did in Job 3:26 “I have no peace. I have no quiet. I have no rest and trouble keeps coming.” (GW)
Some of the common areas we experience overload in life are we have too much activity in our lives, too many choices, too much work, too much debt, too much information, and too many negative people.
The solution is to put some margin into your life. Margin is the space between my load and my limit.
Let's start with some benefits of living a life of margin. Here are four quick benefits that come into our life and begin to build some space between my load and my limits. What happens when I build in a little margin?
- I’ve got more peace of mind in my life. I'm not hurrying and worrying all the time. I have time to stop, to think, to relax, to enjoy, to smell the roses.
- Better health. Why do so many people wait until their health fails until they make this decision? When you have margin in your life you are healthier physically and emotionally.
- Stronger relationships. The truth is relationships take time and margin provides the time to sit and talk. It provides the time to listen, the time to comfort someone and the time to be comforted.
- It makes you available for God to use. When you’re overloaded, when you’ve got too much to do, you can only think of yourself. God is more interested in your availability than He is in you abilities.
Here is an important first step to begin building margin in our lives.
ACCEPT MY HUMAN LIMITATIONS
Psalm 119:96 “I have learned that everything has limits.” (GN) We have to remember that we are only human. We have to remember that there are limitations in our lives that God intentionally put there.
You have physical limits. . . . There are limits to positive thinking. You and I can only deadlift, what we can deadlift:-)
You also have emotional limitations. These are much harder for us to judge in our own lives.
Many of you have never drawn the line emotionally. You think you can keep on handling more and more stress, more and more problems and you don’t need any downtime, you don’t need any margin. You’re wrong!
And of course you have time limits. . .
Job 14:5 “Our time is limited. You, God, have given us only so many months to live and have set limits we cannot go beyond.” (NCV) Highlight “we cannot go beyond”. These are just a few of our human limitations.
You’re thinking, “It would really be nice if God would warn me when I'm reaching my limit…
God has given you a warning light. It’s called pain. It’s called fatigue. It’s called stress. It’s called loss of joy. It’s called irritability. When you’re irritable you’re on overload. You have exceeded a limit – a physical, mental, spiritual, some kind of an emotional limit in your life and you’re on overload. And you’ve gotten irritable.
So the starting points for building margin is to realize you need it because you have limits.
- In what area of your life do you most commonly exceed your limit or most often come close to exceeding your limit?
- What decisions can you make today to begin building margin in this area of your life? Are there any “GOOD” things you need to say no to or stop doing so you can create space between your load and your limits?
- In what way can you depend more on God to prevent overload in your life? List a couple tangible things you will begin being intentional about over the next couple weeks.