“Live generously and graciously toward others.” Mt 5:48 TM
Jesus said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over” (Lk 6:38). Notice, He didn’t say, “Only give to those who can give back to you.” John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, said, “You haven’t lived today successfully, unless you’ve done something for someone who can never repay you.” In the days of Jesus, a Roman soldier could legally force a Jewish civilian to carry his heavy backpack for up to a mile. That was his right, and you refused to do so at your peril. So to walk the first mile was to do only what was required. Then Jesus came along and said, “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two” (Mt 5:41 NIV). Why? Because “extra-mile service” gives you an opportunity to impact the lives of others. A person with an extra-mile attitude is someone who cares more than others think is wise, risks more than others think is safe, dreams more than others think is practical, believes more than others think is possible, and gives more than others think is necessary. Here’s how Jesus bottom-lines it: “If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects…live like it. Live out your God-created identity…generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you” (vv. 46-48 TM). So always do more than is expected.