Have You Left Enough Margin to Live a Life of Love?

create marginMargin is Space to Live In

The margin is the space around a sheet of paper that makes it possible to read and understand what is written on it.

In our lives, margin is the difference between our capacity and the current load we’re carrying.  Margin is our reserve – the space we create for ourselves to live in beyond what is required or demanded of us. Margin in our lives is space to live in. Margin gives meaning and purpose to our lives.

We Want More

We have the most amazing technology in the history of the world.  Much of it came with the promise:  save time – save energy.  In the 1950’s, 60’s, even into the 70’s it was widely predicted that technology would increase leisure and usher in a 30 hour work week.

No one says that anymore. Not seriously.

Because we know better.  As we are able to do more in less time, more is demanded of us.  And we want more too!  Don’t wait, get it now!  12 months same as cash!  Get the home you deserve – today!

The hamster of our culture spins wildly out of control on the treadmill we have created for ourselves.

How Much Margin Do You Have Today?

God’s Idea of Margin

In Luke 10, one of the teachers of the law is asking Jesus what our faith is really about.  Jesus asked the man what he thought.

The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”

Luke 10:27-28 (NLT) (Jesus, himself, said these were the two most important commandments in Matthew 22:36-40.)

Love with ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength – that’s a lot.  Love God.  And love those around you too.  What does that really mean?

How Much Margin Do You Need?

Then, Jesus explains what that looks like.  He tells a story about a man going on a business trip.  The man finds someone who has been beaten and robbed. The businessman stopped. A risky thing to do when there are robbers around.  He treated the man’s wounds.  Messy, probably bloody work.  He lifted the injured man and gave him transportation to an inn where they could nurse him back to health.  And because the man had been robbed, the businessman paid for everything.

Helping this one man cost time, inconvenience (maybe even a lost opportunity).  The Samaritan had to get his hands dirty.  He may have gotten blood on his clothes.  He put himself at risk when he stopped to help. He had to physically lift the man and use his vehicle (a donkey) to take the injured man to an inn.  And he had to pay for everything until the man recovered. Even greater, the businessman had to invest his heart, his love, and concern.  He had to stop and listen and emotionally invest in someone else’s problems.

Love is like that.  It is costly.  It’s messy.  It’s wildly inconvenient.  It takes time and strength that we may not think we have.   And it will totally wreck our schedule.

Jesus’ message to us today is not just to have the heart of the Samaritan, but to create margin in our lives so we can freely love the people He places in our paths. Create time, emotional and physical energy and financial reserves so when a friend, a relative or a complete stranger needs help we have more than words and a quick prayer to give them.

What can you do to increase time, energy, financial and emotional margin in your life?

Make a short list – 2 or 3 things at most.  Choose 1.  Do it!

Please honor and respect others in your comments. Thanks!

About Dave Milford

I am a Christian life coach, writer and teacher.
I help people live lives of heart connection, heart transformation, and real influence.


  1. I love this! Thanks Dave!

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