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Summary

Margin is the space that once existed between ourselves and our limits.

Today we use margin just to get by. This book is for anyone who yearns for relief from the pressure of overload. Reevaluate your priorities, determine the value of rest and simplicity in your life, and see where your identity really comes from. The benefits can be good health, financial stability, fulfilling relationships, and availability for God's purpose.

©2016 Tyndale House (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Margin

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A sermon peppered with some interesting points...

The book had some good points on carving out balance and margin in your life but the author often led with God and Jesus and it sometimes felt like I was being beaten with the religion stick while going through the chapters.

Worth a listen if you need more margin but I did find myself listening on a higher speed to get through the heavily religious parts.

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  • Susan B Sampson
  • 22-02-18

A good perspective on balance

This is written from a Christian perspective. It encourages balance, love and rest. It’s not a “ preachy” book. It encourages the weary to find grace and rest.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Regina Bray
  • 06-06-17

Margin is what we all need!!!!

The book is truly wonderful and very encouraging. The speaker has a wonderful sound and does not take away from the enjoyment of the book. Would highly recommend this one!!!!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Arlene Diehl
  • 03-05-19

great challenge

this month challenged me to examine what I feel my life with, what my values are, and what I should be doing as I spend my life here on earth.

2 people found this helpful

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  • J. Shoemaker
  • 23-07-21

Great message

The message is so true. Just be ready for what seemed like a lot of lists. I listened to the audio version, so perhaps it just reads that way.
He also is a bit more rhetorical and poetic; I would have benefited from many more concrete examples.

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  • Lynnric
  • 13-11-20

I Needed This!

This book gave me the right perspective of life AND the permission to have MARGIN in my life. After all, I can't afford to burn the candle at both ends. I NEEDED this great read!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • George Stowers
  • 12-11-21

One of my favorite books

Since first reading this book over 10 years ago, I have recommended it to so many! Everyone should read it and apply it.

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  • k. brun
  • 06-05-21

Not what I expected.

The concepts started out good and applicable to real life. It progressively became more theological and God based. Struggled to finish as I found myself fast forwarding through the last 5 chapters that seemed much like a religious sermon.

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  • Jamie
  • 14-03-21

Was okay but choppy and got too religious

It seemed to me like the author put various quotes and meaningful phrases one after another and formed a book with them. Most of the time I felt there was no real synopsis, flow, or story.
I’m Christian. But part three of this book was really religious and this book was not portrayed as a religious book from the cover or the summary to be mentioning the Bible and religion as much as it did. Especially since it didn’t start out that way. I just couldn’t take the religious part anymore. The agendas and what the author believes. It could’ve been more spiritual but nope religious it was. I don’t like dishonesty or forcefulness of agendas. So nope not for me.
I really wish this book would’ve been better.

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  • J.Tyrone Marcus
  • 09-02-21

Refreshing!

I really enjoyed this book. The author's emphasis on healthy boundaries and healthy relationships was quite helpful. I also appreciated the depth of research and his closing admonition to live a life of love.

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  • MrsAWiggins
  • 19-01-21

Are you Overloaded?

This past week, I finished reading Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard A Swenson, MD. I found it incredibly thought provoking, and I thought I’d share a bit of it with you.


While we are all familiar with the concept of living below our means financially, we do not often apply the same thought to our energy, time, emotions, or spirit. Margin is about no longer living buried in debt not just financially, but also in the other ways where we often neglect our budgets. Think of all of our lives being a 20Ton weight limit bridge…with a 40 ton truck on our back. What most of the world is suffering from today is a deficit of Christ and an Overload of everything else.


The following is an excerpt from Chapter 14: Health Through Rest (immediately after Contentment):

“There is no glory in rest. No social acclaim. We are never a hero because we rest. We can only be still and better wait upon the Lord. We can only meditate upon the Word more. We can only have more margin with which to serve our neighbor. These things, however, are not socially reimbursable.”
Burning up the engine.
The healthiest lifestyle comes equipped with four gears: the first gear is park, for the contemplative times (hammocks and devotions). The second gear is low, for family, relationships, and friends (sit and have a Long conversation). No hurry here, just quality. The third gear is drive, our usual gear for work and play. The faster speed feels good because it is productive. The fourth gear is overdrive, reserved for times that require extra effort, like a looming deadline. Unfortunately, many in our society do not shift down from overdrive. Our cars are not meant to race at high speeds continuously, neither are our bodies or spirits. Yes to slow down for many individuals is unthinkable, and for some, impossible. In our every day lives, we need rest in three areas: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. (summarized from Chapter 14)
I have made some concrete changes based on some of the things in this book. I highly recommend it to everyone. But especially those that are stressed out and overloaded.
I listened to the audiobook and enjoyed it so much that I bought the ebook as well. The narrator is fantastic!