Walking the Second Mile
Keep Walking With Christ
Going the second mile
Mat 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Witnessing Christ to the world is a major goal of Christianity. Wonderful is the testimony of the second mile. The first mile may be obligatory, and often a matter of formality as it restrains us to travel its path. However, to go the second mile displays assurance of love and likeness. Going the first mile is compulsion; going the second mile is dedication and loyalty. The word “compel” has origins dating back to the Persians and their practice of “impressments for service.” Public couriers or mounted messengers were stationed by the Persian king at set locations. They had ready horses to relay messages from one post to the next. If a person is passing by one of these stations, an official might just seize him and “compel” him to do an errand for the king. The passerby would have little choice in the matter.
For example, we refer to Matthew 27:32 where this very thing was done to Simon of Cyrene who was thus compelled to carry the cross of Christ. Mat 27:32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
But the thing here commanded is not only a readiness to submit to unreasonable demands of whatever kind, and rather than raise quarrels, but to go with him two miles. Loyalty is shown and kindness is proved.
How easy it is for me when I have set my morning work and planned my day. Suddenly, another necessity spoils my arrangements. Now I must obey this inevitable call. I make the mile’s journey and I feel inclined to say, “I have done my duty.” It is enough in itself. However, the Christ-like spirit will gladly go another mile. The question is, “Which spirit will I follow?” The second mile is the testimony of Christ. For Christ so loved the world, He gave His life for me. Praise God for the second mile.
Jesus taught the second mile through the story of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37)! The good Samaritan sees the needy stranger and has compassion on him. He not only looks him up, he also picks him up, and he fixes him up by tending to his wounds. Then, he carries him up to a place of safety. We are often asked to help a very needy neighbor. We give him the sum required to relieve his debt. Then, we add kind words to our gift and warm kindness. That is the second mile. Too many times I go part of the way but do not finish the journey to the second mile.
A New Testament professor was lecturing on the parables. After spending a good deal of time on the parable of the Good Samaritan, he posted a notice on the board telling the students that that day's class was being moved to the other side of the campus. On the only route to the new class room, he staged a drunk lying on the ground asking for help. Not one of the students stopped to help this man--they all were in too big of a hurry to get to class lest they be penalized for being late. Think what a testimony it might have been for some future minister to go the second mile!
I know that sometimes the second mile is not appreciated. Our efforts are even abused. The story is told of a priest who is walking down the street one day when he notices a very small boy trying to press a doorbell on a house across the street. The boy is very small and the doorbell is too high for him to reach. After watching the boy’s efforts for some time, the priest moves closer to the boy's position. He steps smartly across the street, walks up behind the little fellow and, placing his hand kindly on the child's shoulder leans over and gives the doorbell a firm ring. Crouching down to the child's level, the priest smiles compassionately and asks, "And now what, my little man?" To which the boy replies, "Now we run!"
Now, I ask, “Will I allow the unfortunate experience to define my witness?” Will I let those who have no journey of record retard the joy of the second mile for me. Christ gave His all – Should I not give my best?”
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