“If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” Matthew 5:41
You’ve heard it said: “Go the extra mile.” I’ve always wondered where this particular saying originated. Clayton King says in his book Stronger;
“The second mile is not an obligation; it’s an opportunity.”
I discovered that Jesus was referring to a particular Roman law that allowed any Roman soldier to stop a Jew on the road and compel him or her to drop what they were carrying in order to assist a Roman soldier in bearing his load.
They were only required to walk one mile.
There were no pedometers in that day; so I wonder how they measured that one mile? The Romans could require the Jew to carry his load out of laziness or a power trip. Jesus was telling His followers to go beyond obligation. Why?
The extra mile is our witness to the world.
Jesus expected his followers to win over Roman soldiers in the Kingdom of God. It is our life’s witness and testimony to a lost and dying world. When you are pressed into a hard situation beyond your control, you can choose to become bitter or better. The difficult circumstance gives you a story worth telling; a story of how you overcame.
If we quit rather than endure; we miss the opportunity of doing the difficult thing required to endure.
Another God given verse is found in 1 Corinthians 9:24: “to run the race that is set before you in such a way as to win the prize.” We are to look to the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Clayton says: “Your current trial is your future testimony”
The Lord is with you oh mighty warrior! Go the second mile when it’s easy and when it’s hard. Share your story with the person who needs to hear it.
In my life Lord, be glorified both now and forever! Forgive me for all the times I’ve done only what was required. Lord, I want to go the second mile, all to the praise, honor and glory of Your Great Name. Amen!