whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two
The Second-Mile Lifestyle
In order to live a successful life and to enjoy the grace of God flowing through your life, you must learn to go beyond simple justice and fairness. It does not seem to be fair but it is essential. You will be hurt. You will be taken advantage of. You will be asked to do what is more than your share. The sooner that you adopt the second-mile lifestyle choice, the quicker life will begin to turn for you. Now I am not saying be a doormat, but you must get over measuring everything by whether it is the same or equal or fair. It will not be. People notice those who go above and beyond the call of duty. People promote those who do more than they have to. People who are successful want people who give more than is required around them. In order to live an abundant life you must get used to sharing abundantly and giving more than you have to.
forces: This is the Greek word aggareuo, means compel to go. The idea is that the person here has the ability to demand that a certain thing be done. You have to decide whether your energy and creativity will stop at the end of the requirement. If it does, then you will live a normal mediocre life. But if you throw yourself into what you are doing and consistently push past what is required, it will be noticed. You will begin piling up a different energy in your favor.
This applies at work, in your family, in your marriage, at church, in your community. Go beyond what is required. Go beyond what is fair and give just a little bit more. Put in a little extra time, a little extra effort, a little extra love. It will open up a conduit of God’s grace and love in your life.
I have heard people give young people the advice to get to work 20 minutes early and stay 20 minutes late for no extra money. This is the kind of advice that is pointed out here. I have watched men and women give a little extra in their marriage, not because their spouse deserved it but because they wanted a great marriage. I have watched people volunteer at church or in the community because it was the right thing to do to have the kind of community that was a pleasure to live in.
In those days a Roman soldier could force a citizen to carry their pack for one mile. This was the law. But Jesus is saying to go beyond what is required and you will find a whole new world opening up to you. Do you know who gets the A’s at school? Those who go beyond the requirements. Do you know who gets promoted in the company? Those who go above and beyond the requirements to make the company succeed. It is not who deserves the promotion; it is who has demonstrated that they will go beyond the minimums. Do you know who has the great marriage and family? It is those who do the extra little things that communicate love and value.
A great life is only a second mile away. Ask yourself the question. If we were to talk to your employer, your spouse, your friends, would they say that you go above and beyond what they expect? Maybe you need to think of one or two things that would put you in the second mile in these relationships.
You can’t experience the abundant life without living in the second mile.
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.