"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will
but to do the will of him who sent me."
A Fundamental Principle of Margin One of the fundamental principles from the book Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want teaches us to say “no” to the good things and “yes” to the great things. Out of all the people in my life, my mother is one of the best at telling someone “no” kindly and keeping healthy boundaries in her life. My wife and I are still amazed at how well she does it and how the reactions of others don't deter her. An Easy Distraction How often do we let the worry of letting someone down influence us to say yes to something that is good but takes away the margin we desperately need in our lives? These things are often worthwhile, and one could make a compelling case why it would be beneficial and even Christ-like to do them. At a previous MD5 lab, one man admitted that he often would say yes to things out of pride, thinking he could do it better than someone else. That may be true, but it deprived him of the margin he needed. A Real Life Example Recently, I had to make such a decision when I, along with some other dads, was asked to help lead a mentoring program at my children’s elementary school. The principal talked about the importance of having good male role models for children to see since there are not any male teachers in the building. This mentor program had no details regarding time commitment, time frame for when during the day this would occur, and how many dads would be needed for this undertaking. We can all agree on how important it is for children to see good male role models in their life and how one could certainly argue this is furthering the Kingdom for the gospel. After praying and thinking, I said no. My wife and I agreed this is good but not great for making disciples of our children under our roof. It is hard to say no and let people down. There may be things in your own life that you do not want to do, but God is telling you to do them. A Great Strategy The book,Tyranny of the Urgent, encourages readers to take time before committing to something. Make sure you do not rush into further time commitments, discuss things with your bride before committing, pray for wisdom from the Holy Spirit, and ask yourself how this helps make disciples and disciple-makers. May God allow us to create and protect our margin so that we can say “yes” to things of His leading and “no” to all other things.
John Gore MD5 Facilitator