Growing Through the Second Mile

The following teaching is based on a sermon by Pastor Adrian Rogers which I posted about a year and a half ago.

The second mile is the mastery mile.  One of the ways which the Romans kept their subjects in line, the soldiers would require someone to walk with the soldier’s pack for a mile.  It didn’t matter who the ‘subject’ was, 9 year old boy, 19 year old girl, 90 year old man, if they were told to carry it, they carried it.  It was humiliating and made the Jews angry.  Yet Jesus taught if you were told to go one mile, go two.

Seriously?   Yes. The mastery of taking that second mile Jesus teaches that there is reward for going that extra mile.  We who are Christians aren’t lost and not legalistic, but doing the second mile are displaying- mastering Jesus by doing more than just what’s required, but returning good for evil, and loving those who hate us.  There is a blessing in loving your enemy.  You take control of a situation that was once out of your control. You become master of the second mile.

The second mile is the charity mile.  Even those who are legalistic will go that first mile. Grumbling all the way. Those who go the second mile, especially when your dignity is degraded, when insulted, gives wrath and anger where it belongs- with the Lord.  Overcoming evil with good doesn’t only empower a person, but it creates a greater love and charity for those who have insulted you. It’s when you go that second mile over and over again for someone who hates you, it can melt their heart to where you can make a friend out of an enemy.

The second mile is the smile mile. How?  By forgiveness, restitution and love that is in that second mile.  Remember the story of Zacchaeus?  He knew his job as a tax collector was notorious for cheating people. Zaccaesus could have left it at going that first mile in asking Jesus for forgiveness, but his real joy came from his second mile in restitution- when he gives half his possessions to the poor and offers to pay anyone he may have cheated to four times more.

The second mile is the victory mile.

Doing only the first mile, whether in marriage, raising kids, or in your job, might be all that’s required, is denying yourself of a deeper love, commitment and even joy that’s only available by going that second mile.  Repaying by giving what’s given, getting even does exactly that, in bringing you down to the other person’s level. That goes in personal life as well as corporately or politically.

It’s that second mile that helps us grow into better people, and more in Christ.  It’s the second mile that most folks forget about though when it’s our own personal struggles with people who hate us, or with those who don’t agree with us, and it’s something we need to learn over and over again so we’ll understand.

Jesus went for us the second mile.  If we follow Him, we need to do the same.

Think about the second mile this week, and let this be a hint about Thursday’s last series message from Suffer’s church.

Have a blessed and safe week all!

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