During Jesus’ days walking on this earth, the Romans occupied the Jews homeland as military conquerors.  Not only did the Romans tax the Jews, but the Roman rule of law could sometimes be cruel, levying such punishments as crucifixion.  One practice that was used by Roman soldiers when they were traversing an area was to grab anyone passing by and to order them to help carry the soldier’s equipment for a mile.  The length of a mile was generally considered the limit of what the soldier could order this random passerby to do.  Then at the end of the mile, he would simply grab someone else to carry his equipment for the next mile.  As you could imagine, this task was probably detested  by the Jew that was unlucky enough to be passing by and thus find himself impressed into service for the despised Roman soldier.  This practice was what Jesus was referring to in Matthew 5 when he taught that we are to go the extra mile when asked to go one mile.

What Jesus meant was that we should always do the extra when someone asks something of us.  He was referring to a generosity of heart that loves the person who is asking something of you and wants to do a little extra.  Such a loving heart of service does not grumble and resent being asked to do the service but rather is cheerful and wants to do more than is asked or required by the person or the situation.  This includes things you do for your family and things you do on the job, etc.  As Christians, we should exemplify the generous nature of service that our Savior was such a good example of when He walked this earth.  As you can imagine, He was beset with people at all times of the day, seeking His help, His healing, or His teaching and advice.  Once His ministry on this earth began in earnest, there were probably few times that He was alone.  Yet, there is no indication that He was ever short with people or that He begrudged always having demands of His time at all hours of His day.

This is the generosity of service and generosity of heart that we should also have in all things throughout our daily lives, especially as we are ambassadors for our Lord.  Many times the people that we encounter in our daily lives know very little about God, so the only glimpse that they have of His Greatness and His Love is what they see in us.  So it is very important that they see this same generosity of heart and service that our Lord exemplified.  We should always be willing to go the extra mile and give more than is asked of us.  And believe me, we will stand out when we do this.  Years ago, I worked a job at UPS, loading trucks and sorting packages for delivery.  The people around me often worked grudgingly, feeling as if they were being taken advantage of for doing an honest day’s work.  So, when I was willing to work hard and do the extra effort beyond what was asked of me, people often took notice, and this gave me opportunities to explain the reason I worked so hard and teach people about the God I served.

I pray that you will have the courage and dedication to go the extra mile in your daily life, no matter what the task is so that you will be a good example of the God you serve.

 


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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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