Going the Extra Mile
Last Saturday I was in the middle of repairing drywall when I realized my thoughts were becoming angry. You see, I’ve been in the process of selling my home. The average homebuyer wants everything to be safe and move-in ready. Sellers, on the other hand, just want to sell quickly and not have to deal with “extra” requests. As I made repairs, my grumbling on the rise, a surprising verse popped into my head.
…”if someone asks you for your tunic, offer your cloak as well.”
You know, I’ve never owned a tunic or a cloak. In fact, I’m pretty sure that Marshall’s never has and never will sell them. So, for the past 33 years, I thought this verse didn’t apply to me. But, as I thought about it and looked into the surrounding verses, the message made sense.
“Do not resist an evil person…”
Now, I’m not saying the buyer of my home is an evil person. However, the request for me to put in extra time and money that I would like to spend elsewhere had turned my heart toward anger and it had become easy to view the homebuyer as my “enemy.” I wanted to resist doing what had been requested and go back to doing my own thing. Thankfully, Jesus gives us a instruction on how to deal with this kind of selfishness.
“If someone asks you to walk a mile, walk two.”
By switching from doing the minimum to going above and beyond for other people, we can create peace in our lives. Instead of leaving my house in a semi-decent condition for the homebuyer, I can choose to present the home in polished, welcoming condition that will ease the transition. I can also happily finish the requests and ask if there is anything else that will help the buyer. While some requests might not be financially possible, the attitude of willingness to help wherever possible dissolves the tension that can skyrocket while selling a house.
Of course, these verses can apply to many different people and situations.
- Kids, instead of complaining and sliding all of your toys under the bed, you can arrange them neatly on shelves and do so with a smile.
- Teenagers, rather than coming home a minute before curfew, you could choose to come home 15 minutes to a half-hour before curfew to help give your parents peace of mind.
- Employees, instead of meeting minimum quotas or completing only what is required, consider doing a little extra and making the company better off than the day before.
No matter our stage in life or particular situation, when we choose to follow Jesus’ commands, our lives become happier and more peaceful. Scripture may be difficult to follow at times, and I can attest to the fact that it’s certainly easier to recite verses than to apply them. But, as Christians, when we choose not to resist others and instead go the extra mile, we can create a great peace in our own lives and in the lives of others and be the salt of the earth that Jesus spoke of.