Restore Margin to Care for Others (and Yourself)

Simple Life Reboot MarginTo what extent are we willing to go into debt, make unfair demands on family and co-workers,  or compromise healthy habits,  in order to achieve objectives?

Is our standard of living too reliant upon our willingness to push ourselves to the limit?

Long Term Impact

We may view our pedal-to-the-metal approach as proof of a strong work ethic and ambition, but are we deceiving ourselves as to either the sustainability or desirability of this approach?   We may also be dodging some hard questions  –  such as:

“After meeting our daily quota, do we have anything left to share with others?”

Wise Warnings

Throughout history, faith traditions have urged restraint in the use of resources, cautioning against the utilization of all that is available.

From a risk management perspective, keeping a buffer between resources used and available resources makes perfect sense,  but margin has infinitely greater value as a necessary resource for the care of others.

This value is made clear in the Vayikra, aka Leviticus 19:9-10, which instructs landowners to leave an unharvested margin around their fields. Further,  the harvested areas are not to be stripped bare.  This timeless practice preserves a resource to be shared with those in need.

Margin Needed Today

Restoration of margin is needed more than ever today.  In our overloaded and hectic world, it is only in the margin that we can feel safe to consider the needs of others.  It is in this space that we may be generous with our time, talents and treasures.  For instance, it is only when we have some degree of white space and flex in our schedule that we can welcome a spontaneous and unhurried conversation with a child.  It is when we have a reserve of physical strength that we can help a friend move furniture at the end of a long work day.  And, it is when we have limited our expenditures that we can consider giving generously without reservation.

By reminding ourselves of the reason for margin, we are better able to commit to its maintenance.  The beautiful thing is that by restoring margin,  we are restored and are better able to help restore and love others.


If you would like to read more on margin, please see ‘The Secret to Growing Margin“,  “5 Step Plan for Protecting New Margin“; and “Margin in Not Just for You“.


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6 thoughts on “Restore Margin to Care for Others (and Yourself)

  1. Margin will allow us to step back, take a deep breath and relax. Then we can reinvest our resources remembering our priorities. I love this concept. Enjoy your blogs very much.

  2. This is a timely post; I recently have had the thought come to me- “you don’t have any margin in your life.” The subject came up in a podcast I listened to today as well so I really must be needing to hear this right now! Ironically, one of the biggest struggles in my life has been to create margin- in my finances, time, work, etc. Thank you for the thoughts and wisdom; keep it up.

    • Thank you, Melissa! Our quest to restore margin is a continuing one as well. It is so encouraging to know that we are not alone in the struggle.

    • Thank you so much for your question. Yes, we do feel constrained by our commitment to increasing margin. Sometimes we’re grateful because it serves much like a “bumper” in a bowling lane that keeps us on track. An example would be keeping clothing purchases down due to the reduced size of our closet. Sometimes, however, we chafe against the restrictions. An example would be wanting to say “yes” to an event when our calendar is already too full. Sometimes, margin makes us feel both “safe” and liberated, such as having rainy day funds available. We are definitely a work in progress. Comments from kind readers like you are such an encouragement to us.