Every now and again I hear a great message that I want to share with others and explain it in my own words. Tonight I heard an awesome message from Adrian Rogers about Matthew 5:41
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
I found this message ironic because for the past few days I wondered, what would I do if thrown into a prison? How would I feel? How would I find peace there?
I have to laugh at myself with this one….if you’ve read some of my personal anecdotes here and there throughout my blogs you know I can be a goofball when I’m not being serious. Picturing myself as a prisoner/prison setting actually made me giggle. In all honesty and truth, if I were a prisoner in a prison, I might be freaked out at first, but after I got used to the idea, I can say I would be doing everything I could to either 1 – clean that prison, 2 – help the guards in any way I could, and/or 3 – help other prisoners in any way I could….being my usual goofy personable self. People have always found me terribly easy to talk to and I’m always seeking to get a smile or laugh out of someone…especially in bad situations. Yep, I can see it now….prison wouldn’t keep me down….I would find joy in it any way I could lol!
Now you may think this nothing, until you think about what the AVERAGE person might do in a prison setting; cry, hate every moment of it, give up, lose hope, get angry and fight, etc. I can see myself being the one that picked up the crying, the referee with those that were angry, the smile-giver to the sad, and the hope giver to those who want to give up. I would be light however I could….it’s just how I roll.
Dad always used to tell me to “always give 110%!” I can still hear his deep voice giving me one of those rare pieces of advice – God rest his soul. I asked him at 13 what that exactly meant and he said “Don’t give 70%, don’t give 100%, give that extra….give 110% in everything you do.” I carry this with me today.
I remember a time when I was selling reverse mortgages and I ran across this little old lady who cried to me on the phone while I was at the office that she would NEVER be approved for the help a reverse mortgage would give her. I KNEW the amount she would be approved for and I just wanted to comfort this 77 year old widow, so I quick jumped in my car and drove about 20 miles to ease her mind. With this money, she was able to place safety helps installed throughout her home, have her terribly decaying roof replaced, my husband even chipped in to replace some of her flooring that had gotten bad (at cost of the material), pay some medical bills, and even keep some of it aside for when things were bad. Over time of working with her on this loan, we developed a bond, and she knew she could call me and I’d come running to take her somewhere if she needed, any time, and sometimes I would just help her clean or organize her kitchen or bathroom on my days off because her health was just too bad to keep up with it. She was a wonderful old gal and one I had great compassion for. She is gone now, but what a joy she brought to my life. I still have many of the blankets she made that we purchased to help her out even more.
The reason I told you these things is to tie them into the above verse.
Back in Jesus’ day, the Romans ruled over Israel. Oftentimes, Roman soldiers would have to walk somewhere, carrying bags and other items with them. If they saw a Jew sitting or standing somewhere (at or near home most likely), they could order that Jew to carry their items for them for a mile…it was a law back then called lex angeria. The Jews in turn would count the mile as they carried the items for the Roman and would mark it off so they would not have to go an inch more serving the Roman. (Mind you, this is according to Adrian, I haven’t completely researched it myself).
If we lived back in that time, I might consider doing the same as the Jews did. The Romans weren’t the nicest of people to the Jews. I would consider grumbling, hating every step of that walk, hating that soldier for disrupting my day.
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
Jesus tells us to go an extra mile for one reason….TO STAND OUT in our light….to be DIFFERENT….to be SEPARATE and GOOD. It wasn’t to comfort the soldier, to appease him, or to even be his buddy. It was to get that soldier wondering why we chose to go the extra mile to help them….WHY we are so different from the rest of their experiences. This also would in turn be an excellent opportunity to share WHY we do that: JESUS and Him alone.
So comparing this to today, how many people do YOU know that ONLY do what is required of them? How many people do you know that are clock watchers? Penny pincers? Sticklers for not doing a single thing more than what they are asked? I bet you know some….I know I sure do!
What Jesus is saying here to us is don’t be like that! He’s saying SHOW your light off, in every opportunity you can! When someone asks you for help, give them extra….when someone needs something, give them extra….when your job wants something from you, do MORE….etc. GO THE EXTRA MILE….be a giver! I guarantee you will stand out against the rest of the world that suffers from selfishness. What a great opportunity then to show the LOVE of Christ, and possibly even plant a seed.
Let your love shine today…remember to go above and beyond what you are asked, always – and keep others curious about your light….share the gospel when you can, and LOVE others….do to them as you’d have them do to you. BE A GIVER! In today’s every darkening, narcissistic and selfish world, BE the example.
Peace to y’all, today and every day! ❤