The Book of Ruth portrays the beautiful character of Naomi’s daughter-in-law named Ruth. When all the men in their family died, and famine was getting worse in Moab, Naomi decided to return to her native Israel. Ruth insisted in going with her saying, “your people shall be my people and your God my God”. Ruth not only went back with Naomi, she was also willing to go the extra mile for her mother-in-law. As a Moabite, she put herself in danger and humiliation when she gleaned wheat in the field of an Israelite. Ruth humbled herself and kept going the extra mile so she and Naomi could eat and live. The story ended with Ruth marrying the farm-owner Boaz, who noticed her virtuous character. Soon, she bore a son and named him Obed. He became the father of David, the great King of Israel. If Ruth did not go the extra mile, she would not have received incredible blessing.
When Jesus said, “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles”, he was teaching us to be willing to do the extra effort of serving others. Going the extra mile should be the way of life of every believer. Here are some examples:
- Speaking of kind and uplifting words. A “good morning” greetings even to strangers adds good cheer even to a gloomy morning. Sometimes we can’t imagine the value of saying, “I know you can do it.” to a discouraged person. Sara Leone suggested to ask the following before speaking: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? These rules will keep us from sinning with our words.
- Doing the work we don’t need to do. We need not include the front yard of our elderly neighbor when we sweep ours. We don’t need to offer cold water to the garbage collector or to the perspiring courier person. But these are small acts of kindness that warm the hearts for we show that we care. As children of God we have the supply of grace to do these small acts of kindness, anytime, anywhere.
- Giving our time to help or comfort a person. Staying with friend a little longer after Sunday Service to encourage her about her recent trial show that we are genuinely concerned. Visiting a sick sister, or giving a bowl of soup to an elderly neighbor may take some time and effort, but these produce joy both to the giver and receiver that money can’t buy.
- Being patient and tolerant with other’s weaknesses. Understanding the weaknesses of a brother or sister is to go the extra mile. It is to realize that we too have our own failings and weaknesses.
Do the extra mile with a willing heart.Some people do the extra mile but with a grumbling spirit. Thus, instead of being credited for their kind deeds, they become reasons to sin. When we do good to please the Lord, Christ becomes visible in our lives.
If others are unwilling to go the extra mile, we should not be discouraged. Wherever the Lord has placed us -in our home, office, school, church or community – strive to go the extra mile and we will surely reap the benefits of getting the favor of God and men.
Prepared by hdlasco for TBC Women’s Fellowship
Taken from the book: Getting Along with People @ Work by Mary Whelchel. 2001