Table Talk


One More Thing about Margin… Maybe Two

Pageman wrote in response to the last blog on “Margin and the Meaning of Wealth.”

Pageman: Hi Walter, I scanned this book, Margin when I was in Kabul and Dubai and I think it shares the same principles although Richard Swensen, the author sometimes overstates the case …

Walter: Pageman, haven’t seen that book, but the table of contents seems to follow the same theme. I agree with you that it is easy to overstate the case. As you know, there are also many bibilical examples of reckless abandon in the pursuit of God’s calling. Christ called men to follow and to follow path that provided them little or no margin. The underlying principle is Lordship, not margin. The thing I was poking at in the last blog was a self-imposed margin-less lifestyle in pursuit of our own career, fame, or fortune… to the extent we are unable to hear God’s call. Or if we do hear his call, we are so bound by our schedule and our bills that we are not free to respond. – WLW


So, having just written a blog about the importance of creating margin in our lives, am I about to suggest that there is a balance? Absolutely not. Balance is often over-rated.

Whenever I have expounded on one idea, then the converse, and ended up appealing to balance, I feel that I am neither clear nor passionate about either idea. In such cases, there is usually a greater truth underlying both ideas that needed to be grasped – kind of like the illusive unified field theory that would tie together the laws of gravity and electro-magnetism. My appeal to balance might be because I was not diligent to seek it out the deeper truth.

It seems to me that the principle underlying my approach to margin is simply this: whether it relates to time or money, it all about separating myself FOR something, not merely FROM something. For instance, if financial margin is merely separating myself from debt, I can still spend every discretionary dollar on wild living like the prodigal son or conspicuous consumption like other characters in the parables. I just pay cash rather than using a credit card. The point is not to merely separate myself FROM DEBT but separate myself TO CONTENTMENT, TO PEACE, AND TO GENEROSITY — kind of a purpose-driven margin.

Walt Walker

Franklin, TN

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