Going the extra mile
What is the most unfair thing that has ever happened to you?
You might have been passed over for a job or promotion when you were best qualified or placed to get it. Your parents might have shown favouritism towards one of your brother or sisters e.g. Jacob/Joseph. Your husband or wife has let you down badly, or you might have been accused of something you never did by your family, neighbours or even the police leading to a false imprisonment.
When I was a boy, my family were quite poor and did not have many valuables. However, one time my mother received a Churchill crown (a coin), considered to be valuable. When I was a young teenager, my mother took me aside one day, and entrusted the Churchill crown to my safe keeping, I hid it in an old piece of furniture. I forgot all about it for several years, when the matter of the coin was raised at a family gathering, I could not account for it. I knew that I had not sold it or disposed of it, someone in the family had taken it! I became the butt of family jokes, such as do not give anything to him to look after, look what happened to the Churchill crown! The stigma of an unjust accusation hung over me for many years until eventually a family member gave me another Churchill crown.
This experience helped me to identify in a very small way with those suffering from injustice or unfairness.
It is not a nice feeling, when you realize that you are being treated unfairly but we must handle unfairness or sense of injustice in a Godly way. Let us turn to God’s word to learn how to cope with unfairness and injustice.
Unfair: is not fair, unjust, or not just, biased, prejudiced, contrary to rules of the game (or life).
God’s instructions on how to deal with unfairness or injustice.
Verse 41; In every situation going the extra mile, there are two parties. The one is you (in your circumstance) we always assume the Christian will be one compelled but are you the one forcing another person to go the extra mile. Make sure you are the one being forced to go the extra mile and not the other party who is doing the forcing!
Extortion (see 1 Corinthians 6:10)
Demanding more of them than is fair or necessary.
Does your spouse always have to give in?
Do you always insist on getting your own way?
This is the sin of extortion which is forcing people to go or to give more than they are willing.
Extortion is not just about money but making unfair demands on someone’s life with the threat of emotional blackmail.
Love never demands its own way. Love never is not selfish and self-seeking.
The act of love (by going an extra mile) defuses an act of selfishness. Love covers a multitude of sins. Jesus tells us if someone forces us to go one mile, then go with him two miles. Somehow this going the extra mile neutralizes the power of selfishness.
2 Timothy 3:12
The devil has a special form of unfairness called persecution through which he tempts the believer to be ashamed of being a Christian and with the goal of getting you turn away from God and his word.
How did Jesus Christ handle his persecution and unfairness?
Acts 8:32-33 (see also Isaiah 53:7-8)
Humiliated and persecuted he did not even speak in his own defence. Jesus Christ would be tortured and killed, but because of his love for God the Father and his love for mankind he endured the ultimate injustice and unfairness and was silent like lamb before his shearers. He who was without sin, was made to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteous of God (2 Corinthians 5:31).
God the Father did not spare God the Son from great suffering in his earthly ministry. It seems that for all Christians living Godly lives, then we can expect some persecution and unfairness will come.
But don’t despair, but count it all joy when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance, and perseverance must develop so that you may become mature and complete, lacking nothing in your walk with God.
God although allowing some injustice in our lives, never lets us be tempted above our measure when we are hurting through injustice. We can go to God and ask for judgement in the Old Testament sense, knowing that the judge of all the earth will do right.
Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteous, according to my integrity says the psalmist. God is the one who vindicates his people.
When unfairness comes, walk the extra mile, show love which disarms evil or selfishness and when the pressure gets too great, then call out to the judge of all the earth knowing that he will do right.