The Poverty of Those Who Live Outside the Margin of Reality

February 10, 2014

The Poverty of Those Who Live Outside the Margin of Reality

It is easy to step outside the margin of reality and not realize it. We are losers when we do because we expect to gain something without completing our responsibility.  The following are some common examples of ways in which people live outside the margin of reality.

Some are tempted to try their luck.  They frequently invest their money in the lottery.  Their thinking is “Sooner or later I have to win.” They refuse to accept the reality that only a small minority win.  On the average, people lose more money in the lottery than they win.

Some like to dream about having a good job.  They think, perhaps it will be by the kindness of a neighbor, friend or relative.  If we are given a job we aren’t qualified for, we probably won’t have it very long.  In reality, there are two ways to be gainfully employed.  One way is to start at the bottom and work our way up.  The other is to study and meet the qualifications that most employers look for.

Some Christians live outside the margin of reality when they expect that God will supply their needs without making any effort on their part.  Someone has said, “God helps those who help themselves.” Christians may boast about their faith and their hope in God, but it is a delusion if they aren’t doing their part.  When a child of God reaches the end of his capability and that isn’t sufficient, then he can trust that God will do for him what we can’t do for himself.  Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

When a special need arises in a church, and a special offering is taken to meet that need, some Christians like to think that others will give generously.  Therefore they can get by with giving little or nothing.  What would happen if everyone in the church thought that way?  They will miss the blessing that comes from giving.  Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

Sometimes people say, “I don’t know what’s wrong with grandma.  She appears to be depressed.  Perhaps we should take her to a psychiatrist to see if he could give her some pills to perk her up.” In reality, her problem is that she is suffering because her family has abandoned her, or even worse, is abusing her.  Again and again they have taken advantage of her without showing any appreciation for what she does for them.  They need to include her in their lives, make her feel loved, and honor her.  They need to be willing to do things for her because she isn’t able to do what she once could.

Some live outside the margin of reality when they think they can abuse their body without it having any effect on them.  It may be by smoking, drinking or drugs.  Others do it by eating too much junk food. Some are aware of the fact that they have a problem, but they refuse to see the doctor.  In great measure, our quality of life depends on our health.  We need to care of our body.

Sometimes the consequences we suffer for living outside the margin of reality aren’t all that great.  At other times, we suffer dire consequences because of it.  The worst mistake we can make is that of neglecting our soul.  Many are they who live outside the margin of reality in this regard.  They ignore what God says they need to do for the wellbeing of their soul.  God says we are condemned if we haven’t put our faith in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and the salvation of our soul.  John 3:18-21 says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.    And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.    But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

People like to think that God will accept them on the basis of what they have done.  Matthew 7:21-23 tells us that that is not the way it is.  “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.    Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?    And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  Salvation is ours on the basis of what God has done for us; not on the basis of what we have done for God.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:   Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

At times all of us find ourselves outside the margin of reality.  We need to respect and seek God’s direction in the decisions we make.  We need to pray like David did in Psalm 139:23-24.  “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

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