I was 32 years old when God called me into ministry. My wife and I had great careers and we were making GOOD money. We had new cars and a great house. The one thing we didn’t have was much margin. If you don’t know what I mean by margin, I’m talking about money. Margin is having enough money to pay your bills with some left over. Prior to being called to ministry we mad quite a bit of money, and we managed to spend ALL of it. We operated with the belief that each year we would make more money than the year before. And for about the first 10 years of our marriage this worked out.
Then God called me to ministry.
As we started the journey that would take us from career focused to ministry focused, we quickly found ourselves making around half as much money, and still unable to do ministry full-time. Now, please understand I am not blaming God, or my church or anyone else. I know that this is a direct result of our own bad financial decisions.
Why am I sharing this? Well, for the answer to this question I go back to the title of this post; Margin = Ministry. You see for my wife and I, living without margin is now preventing us from doing the ministry that we would like to do. Had we kept margin in our lives prior to being called into ministry, then we would be in a much better position to do ministry now. Instead our ministry is held back by a mortgage that is too big and a pile of other debts.
So, what does this have to do with you?
If you are not in ministry, then I would encourage you to make choices that will allow you to live with financial margin. My story proves that you never know what God might have planned for you in the future. Don’t let the devil trick into piling on debt for things that you really could live without.
If you are in ministry, then do all you can to have margin. This will give you the freedom to do even more ministry. Not only will margin give you the means to do more ministry, but it will also remove this stress from your life and from your relationships freeing you up, emotionally, to not only do more ministry, but to do it better.
I’d love to hear how you keep financial margin in your life, or what you are doing to move towards it.
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