Sisters who go the extra mile for God’s people!
The book of Ruth portrays a beautiful picture of Ruth, Naomi’s daughter-in-law. Naomi urged her not to go with her in going back to Israel, but Ruth insisted saying, “your people shall be my people and your God my God”. Ruth did more than what was requested or required. She was willing to go the extra mile. As a Moabite, she put herself in danger and humiliation when she gleaned in the field of an Israelite. But 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. They had a son named Obed who became the father of David. If Ruth did not go the extra mile, she would not receive such 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 helping and serving others. While Jesus exhorts us to do more than we have to do, he is also setting boundaries on how far we should go and how much we should do. An extra-mile attitude comes from the heart. It should be a way of life of every believer. Here are some examples of going the extra mile.
- Saying kind and uplifting words. Man delights in gossips. It is easy to talk behind backs of people or make complaints far from the hearing of people we don’t like or friends or housemates who often offend us. Oftentimes we want to ventilate our feelings to friends or acquaintance. But in so doing, we tarnish the names of other people. Going the extra mile is to choose words that are kind and uplifting. Sara Leone suggests this rule of thumb with regards to speaking: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?
“Don’t take to heart anything that you hear. Lest you hear your servant cursing you.”
- Doing the work we don’t need to do. We are often tasked to open the church door, or to put water in the dispenser, wash dishes, or leave the church in order. These are work we need not do. Some people might say, “that is not my job”. But the children of God want to serve. They are happy to serve. Christians are like this. They feel good when they serve. Serving people is to “walk the extra mile.”
- Sparing extra time and effort to help a person. Staying with friend who is waiting for a jeep or bus, dropping by a neighbor to know if she has something to buy in the grocery store, visiting a sick sister, or giving a bowl of hot soup to an elderly neighbor demand time and effort. But we like to go the extra mile and the reward is a joyful feeling from the Lord.
- Being patient and tolerant with other’s weaknesses. Putting up with the weaknesses of a brother or sister and understanding their mistakes is to go the extra mile.
“Do all things without murmuring or disputing”
Some people do the extra mile but with a grumbling spirit. Instead of being credited for taking initiative, they actually create a bad impression of themselves. Some church members may grumble: “I always come early, while others are late; I always wipe the floor, I always bring flowers, while others just come and go.”. Outwardly they do good, but in their hearts, they often complain. They are pharisaical in spirit. This is a self-righteous attitude that will soon be revealed,
- When we gladly do what is right and pleasing to the Lord, then our extra- mile decorates our testimony. If we complain, our extra mile go to waste.
If others are allergic in going the extra mile, we should not let ourselves be poisoned by this selfish disposition. We must not let these kinds of people prevent us from practicing Christ-like attitude.
And so, wherever the Lord has placed us – it can be in our home, office, school or church – we can always do the extra mile. An extra mile can go a long way in developing good relationship with people and with God.
Prepared by hdlasco for TBC Women’s Fellowship (September 14, 2017)
Taken from the book: Getting Along with People @ Work by Mary Whelchel. 2001