Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Dude Is So Freakin' Smart!

Today was my day to run errands. In the car for much of the day, so I popped in a CD I had made of some North Point Podcasts. This particular podcast was Andy Stanley speaking on margin. (Margin is the extra you have. Extra time, extra energy, extra money, etc) It was the first of 6 messages, so it was kind of an introduction to the series. His point is that society today tries to diminish margin. People are packing their days so full of stuff they don't have time to enjoy life. People consume so much, that they are going into debt and going bankrupt. (When margin decreases, stress increases.)

Whenever I listen to Andy speak I am moved. The dude is so freakin' smart! He explains stuff in a way that is so simple, yet so profound. At one point he talked about how God laid out some guidelines for his people to establish margin. Taking one day a week and not doing any work. Didn't matter if their "to-do list" still had items on it, they took an entire day off. He also talked about money... how God told his people to live on 80%. 80%? Yeah 80 %! 10% went to the kingdom, and another 10% went to help the poor.

Now I've heard pastors preach on tithing, and how it's important, God will bless you, etc. (You've probably heard it all) But I had never heard anyone talk about that additional 10%. Wow! It blew me away. Another 10% for the poor. I like it! Why didn't I think of that?

As I listened to this message, I couldn't help but look at my life. Do I have margin? Am I squeezing margin out of my life? Yeah, I am. There are days when I don't have time to read my Bible. There are periods of time where I live at work. This past May when Crystal and I took a couple days off to go to the cottage was the first time in over a year and a half that we had spent 2 days in a row together. It's an on-going struggle in my life, and maybe in yours too.

So I encourage you to develop margin in your life. Enjoy life while you're young. You're only 20 once. Take a couple months and go to Europe. Find a way to live on 80% of your income. Give to the poor. Don't pack your schedule so full of stuff you run from one thing to another. Develop margin.

Check out the message series yourself... Buy it here or download it on iTunes.


  1. I grew up going to a church in Barrie and loved the youth group. All week long I'd look forward to Friday night. It was great. But as I got older I began to notice that the adults in the church were really self-centred. The worship had to cater to them. The speaking had to cater to them. That's why I have left the church. They didn't care about anyone but themselves. They'd turn people away on a Sunday if they didn't look the part. That really bothered me because I didn't see that in Jesus, and I certainly didn't see Jesus in that church.

    I think what Andy says is bang on. We should be teaching 10% to the poor in church. How does it look to someone outside the church when we build these churches that look like shopping malls and wear our designer suits to church, yet we neglect the poor, ignore injustice and refuse to give a rat's @$$ about people who are hurting. I think the emphasis in church should be on the things Jesus talked about instead of making the pew-sitters comfortable.

    Just my opinion.

  2. I think North American culture has eliminated margin. Work-a-holics are praised, while people who emphasize family are looked down upon. The drive to succeed has pushed margin out of our lives. I went to Jamaica last winter and I loved it. Life is so relaxed there, and they still get by. In fact I think they might enjoy life more despite the absence of all the toys we have in Canada.

  3. I go to Buckhead Church and I remember that message. Andy teaches in such a simple, but profound way. I love him.