GOING THE SECOND MILE

“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”
Matthew 5:41

Taught by our Savior, this principle of life seems out of step with our culture and the way many have been programmed to think. Doing more than is required or expected is not the norm. Yet, Jesus instructs His followers that His law of love requires far more than the Old Testament law called for. Why would Jesus tell us to go two miles when one mile is all that is expected? In part, voluntarily going the second mile demonstrates the difference He makes in our lives.

One of the wonderful attributes of our Savior is His generosity. He has given us a beautiful world to enjoy. He has given us physical life. He gave Himself completely, that we might be saved. He gives the gift of eternal life to those who, by faith, trust Him as Savior. He has given us His Word to love and to live by. He gives us abundant life and a purpose for living that the world can never offer. He will give us a mansion in Heaven to reside in. It only stands to reason that since He comes to dwell in a believer by His Spirit, He would cause that person to become, like Himself, a giver. He wants us to go the second mile.

A person who professes to know the Lord, but is selfish and greedy, is a poor example of what a child of God should be. The phrase, “selfish Christian,” is a misnomer. We should do more than that which is expected or required. Going the second mile will require a few adjustments in the way we think, as well as the way we act. This attitude of going the extra mile is a command of Christ, not an option. He has reasons for it, and we must want to please Him more than ourselves.

To become second-mile Christians, we must be willing to develop a servant’s heart. It does not come naturally to want to serve others. Without a heart change, people resent being asked to go the second mile. We must learn to care about those in our world we are trying to influence for the Savior. They are the ones we hope will see the reality of Christ in us, notice our selfless lives of service, and will potentially be drawn to the Lord. Is it not worth it for Christ, for our world, and for us, to go the extra mile? God knows that going the second mile benefits both us and the ones we are serving. When we are willing to do more than we are expected to do, and do so with the right spirit, we too will be blessed.