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The message is all around us: Be all you can be! Go for the gusto! Take it to the extreme! From an early age, our culture encourages us to push the limits physically, emotionally, and experientially. Success, it seems, is determined by how much we can squeeze out of each and every opportunity in life.
But what happens when all those opportunities start to squeeze the life out of you? What should you do when the pace gets too hectic and the money gets too tight? Is it possible there's a flaw in our frenetic philosophy? Maybe more isn't always more?
In this session, we'll see how our common fear of missing out on life can lure us into a lifestyle that simply isn't sustainable. We'll reveal the four primary areas of life that are most likely to suffer. And we'll lay the groundwork for a strategy to help you identify the pitfalls in your life and regain control. When God created man, He created him with limits. And through the frenzy, God is quietly calling us back to a life of margin.
Using a scale from 1 to 10, write a number to indicate the average level of stress you feel in each of the following categories of life. Write a "1" if you feel little or no stress, a "5" if you feel moderate tosignificant stress, and a "10" if you feel totally frazzled.
Schedule ___________ Finances ___________ Relationships ___________ Spirituality ___________ Career ___________
Add up the five numbers to calculate your score. How many people in your group scored higher than 10? 15? 25? What is your group's average score?
From the video message, fill in the blanks:
1. Margin: An amount available beyond what is actually __ ; the extra; reserves. 2. Margin is the space between our current __ and our limits. 3. When margin begins to shrink ... * __ levels go up. * __ narrows.
* __ suffer. 4. __ happens in margin.
NOTES __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS Take a few moments to discuss your answers to these questions with the group.
1. What does the world say about personal limits? 2. What are some examples of people running out of margin? 3. Why do we allow ourselves to live without margin? 4. What evidence do you see that God intended us to live with margin? 5. How does your current performance compare to your absolute limits? 6. In what areas are you living with the least amount of margin?
* Our culture urges us to test our limits. * God calls us to a life of margin. * Margin is the space between our current performance and our limits. * God created us with limits.
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
This week, take a personal inventory of your life. What are the activities that drive your schedule? What are the expenses that drive your finances? What relationships test you emotionally? What situations tempt you morally? If you could change one thing about your life, what change would result in the most significant increase in margin?
THINK ABOUT IT
Are there any common fears that have lured you into a present lifestyle that is unsustainable? What about the fear of missing out? The fear of falling behind? The fear of a missed opportunity? The fear of not mattering? Which of these fears do you experience the most? What truths can you remind yourself of when you find yourself succumbing to this fear?
CHANGING YOUR MIND
God created us with limits. Renew your mind by meditating on this important foundational principle.
"Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed." Job 14:5
Last week ...
We observed that while culture encourages us to live at our absolute limits, God is calling us to a life with margin. Lack of margin can lead to personal failure in our schedules, finances, emotions, and morals. By acknowledging that we are created with limits, we can begin the process of creating margin in our lives.
Excerpted from Take It to the LIMIT Study Guide by ANDY STANLEY Copyright © 2005 by North Point Ministries, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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|Session 1||Less Is More||9|
|Session 3||Quality vs. Quantity||25|
|Session 4||Reordering Your Finances||33|
|Session 5||A Time to Run||41|
|Session 6||Finding Professional Margin||49|
Posted June 29, 2011
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