Based on :Swenson, Richard A. Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives.
“Margin has been stolen away, and progress was the thief. If we want margin back, we will first have to do something about progress.” (Swenson 2004, p25) This students position believes that progress is a contributing factor but is not entirely the blame. Media outlets, propitiate to our carnal desires and makes it case for our allegiance. Progress makes us feel as if were being left behind if we do not keep in step with the latest trends. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16 (KJV) “Within the human heart ‘things’ have taken over,” asserts A. W. Tozer. “God’s gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution.” (Swenson 2004, p99)
Progress cannot do this on its own. It needs an audience to engage with. The created has replaced the Creator in the hearts of men. Man chooses to sin. Personal responsibility needs to be considered as a contributing factor if we are going to get to the root of the problem, sin. Dr. Swenson must make a complete diagnosis if we are to recover from marginless living. The author assessments are thorough, but without admitting our obsessions with progress, then we will continue to practice lack of margin within the choices we make. Too much of anything is good. There are benefits to progress. The author understands this. “I am not abandoning progress, and I am not for regress. But I am for redirection.” (Swenson 2004, p30) This is the correct approach.
If approached by a member of this student’s congregation, this student would recommend Dr. Swenson’s principles for insight and correction, but include a definitive voice from scripture condemning the sin of greed in our lives and trust in God’s grace for true deliverance (resurrection) from the consequence of our personal choices. This student lack of self- control from past excursions with progress has welcomed Dr. Swenson viewpoint and perspective and will benefit from them. Progress is not the blame for all the sinful choices we make in life. “Perverse disputing of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” 1 Timothy 6:5 (KJV) We need to heed the scripture that gain is not godliness. The root cause is sin, progress rides on the coattails of sin.
Swenson, Richard A. Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to
Overloaded Lives. Colorado Springs: Navpress, 2004.