Go the Extra Mile

But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles (Matthew 5:39-41).

I love the Sermon on the Mount, as this is where Jesus taught His followers to not merely obey the law but to go the extra mile in serving God, experiencing life with Him instead of just doing the bare minimum (the Pharisee way).

Although the Bible is the guideline for every true Believer, the above verses are ones I never hear taught. I hear more people who are concerned about being taken advantage of, and whose focus is on defending themselves and their “rights.”

Jesus went on to say:

For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (Matthew 5:46).

I agree that evildoers should be punished, and Scripture affirms that, but Jesus taught us to go the extra mile in order to live at peace as much as possible and to love those who do us wrong.

extramile

Maybe part of the problem is that we think of love as warm, fuzzy feelings toward a person when, in reality, love is something that comes from the heart. It is refusing to be angry and bitter no matter how much of a right you have to be so.

I realize this is easier said than done, but this is where the Holy Spirit comes in. James 5:16 tells us that “the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” I am testimony to the fact that, if you desire desperately to have a clean heart toward someone who has wronged you, God will answer that prayer.

My bottom line is this: Do you respond to situations like Jesus would? There is a time to speak and a time to be silent. There may be a time to defend yourself, but I believe that it’s often pride that causes our flesh to become defensive and retaliate. We need to stand for truth, but our focus should be on Christ and glorifying Him. If that is not your motive, pray for wisdom before you do anything other than what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount.

2 thoughts on “Go the Extra Mile

  1. This is something that a certain famous seeker friendly pastor and the tens of thousands of like minded pastors need to practice. Some will reject his call to water down the gospel in order to build up church numbers. Yet they do embrace his bully tactics concerning even innocuous decenters. All of these pastors have perverted the scriptures concerning how to treat a ” factious ” church member. Scripturally this refers first and foremost to introducing heretical teachings to the flock. Secondarily it concerns those who stir up strife to create contentious factions to divide the body. This has nothing to do with the brothers who never verbally stirs up strife yet refuses to jump on board with every whim of the pastors personal agenda.
    These so called shepherds twist the scriptures and turn this into loyalty contracts, oaths if you will, to never opposes the pastor. They equate rejecting even a modicum of their authority what so ever, as opposing God command to be in subjection to their authority..
    This self indulgent authoritarian teaching turns Rom. 14:1 – 15:1 on its head. This authoritarian teaching utterly rejects the wisdom of, ” in the essentials unity in the non-essentials liberty and in all things love.”
    To remain in such a church, that otherwise is biblically solid across the board, is going the second mile with them even when they wont do it themselves.

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