GOING THE SECOND MILE
“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” Matthew 5:41
What does it mean to be a “second-mile Christian?” It is said that this illustration had to do with the official demands upon citizens. When royal commands were to be delivered to different parts of the empire, horsemen were stationed at proper intervals along the public highways. One delivered the message to another, and intelligence was rapidly communicated. These heralds were authorized to “compel” any person or enlist any horse, boat, etc., to aid in the transmission of the king’s commandments.
Jesus taught His disciples to go the extra mile, to do more than was requested or required. Why would the Savior give such a command? We can safely assume that this kind of extra service would greatly help to promote the cause of Christ and the testimony of His followers.
As a rule, the average person seeks to do less than he is asked to do. That would usually be true among school students, in the work place of adults, and in the home. It would be very unusual for someone to habitually do more than he is asked to do. Would it not be thought a bit strange if your co-workers regularly showed up for work early or worked after hours, just to help serve the company?
In a day of great underachievement in our society, being a second-mile Christian could have a positive effect on those we work for or with. Christians should never be known as those who do as little as possible or less than what is required. If we are going to be second-mile Christians, what will be required of us? We must develop a servant’s heart. It is imperative that we be willing to do more than is expected of us.
This attitude adjustment is greatly needed among those who profess to know Christ as Savior. Too many want to leave the work for someone else to do. Too often we are more concerned for our schedule and personal agenda than serving others, which should be our priority. That kind of attitude and behavior will not provide for the kind of testimony that others need to see in us. The servant’s heart, the kind of heart that Jesus had, is often lacking in our world. Jesus was willing to wash the disciples’ feet. This was not requested or required of Him. The Savior saw the need and was willing to meet the need. He was willing to go the second mile.