Boaz told his foreman, “Leave some stalks of grain behind so that Ruth may come behind and glean in our fields. And don’t embarrass her in any way!” (Ruth 2:15-16)
I recently heard a pastor speak from this passage; my heart was stirred as he shared this principle: the principle of allowing margins in our lives. Boaz provided margins in his fields by telling his workers to leave some behind: “don’t pick up every sheaf… leave some for the needy… leave something for those who are willing to work for their bread… we have enough… we don’t need it all.”
This is a wonderful picture; I see it often from the farmer who leaves the last 4 rows of corn go unpicked so that the pheasants and deer will have enough food to make it through a tough, Iowa winter. I see it in some homes and churches where boxes and boxes of food are packaged up and given to the hungry.
I love that theme of building margins in our lives. I was young and stupid once; falling into debt for stuff and house. When I freed myself of debt, I felt a big burden slide off my back; I began to build in financial margins into my life; not building wealth, but opening up more opportunities to give.
Charles Wesley built in margins into his life: He determined that 29 pounds was an adequate sum to live on each year. When the royalty checks began to arrive, he determined that 29 pounds was still adequate to live on, and gave the rest away.
I do have to admit, I don’t build any margins in my life when it comes to mercy, or gentleness, or kindness. My driver personality gets in my way and blocks out seasons of mercy and gentleness. “Lord help me to let my margins along my fields to grow deeper and wider for the lost!”
"Lord, give us the self control to know what our 29 pounds looks like and to be available to give to those we meet who are in need."
The Lord does bless those who give generously.
....Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth; Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.....and Jacob the father of Joseph. Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. ( Matthew 1:1-16 NIV)