More Than Expected
If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Matthew 5:41
It's much easier to help someone I like than to help someone I don’t like. If I enjoy a person’s company, then it is a joy to listen to their dreams or to offer them advice about a difficult decision they face. I sadly confess, some days I only want to serve someone who one day might remember my good deed and offer to serve me in return. This inner struggle over the true intent of my motives to help another are purified when I do more than is expected without expecting anything in return. An attitude that exceeds expectations is fulfilled by its second mile service.
Jesus illustrates this concept of second mile service. He instructs His disciples to carry the load of another twice as far as expected, even if you loathe them. In this instance it was the despised Roman soldier who had the legal right to indiscriminately demand a citizen carry their weighted back pack for a mile. Even if the unsuspecting individual was traveling in the opposite direction, they could be enlisted on the spot to assist the soldier. The second mile service Jesus describes takes selfless sacrifice to carry out. Love does more than is expected for the unlovable.
“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible” (1 Corinthians 9:19).
Perhaps your boss has a demanding demeanor or unrealistic expectations. But you do your work as “unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:23), praying for God’s grace to do your very best. Learn to look outside your immediate resources to other resourceful relationships who might lend their expertise. Do more than is expected by engaging a mentor who is experienced in the new role you have been assigned. Your second mile job attitude honors your Savior Jesus.
Moreover, generosity with our time and money is another way we can do more than expected. Giving is an expression of our gratitude to God for His incredible blessings. Perhaps we give more than our allocated time to a seeking stranger who needs direction for their life and work. Or, a young person may need our encouragement for their season of striving to get established. When we are generous with our calendar and cash we go the second mile in our relational investments. Thus, we give more than is expected to those God puts in our path.
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my heart of generosity into one that exceeds expectations.
Related Readings: Ecclesiastes 9:10, 11:6; Luke 17:10; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Colossians 3:23