“Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.
Give to him who asks you, and from him
who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.”
The Society of the Second Mile
Jesus created what we might deem the Society of the Second
Mile. He presented a new option. Serve the ones who hate you;
forgive the ones who hurt you. Take the lowest place, not the
highest; seek to serve, not to be served. Retaliate, not in kind,
but in kindness.
Roman soldiers could legally coerce Jewish citizens into
carrying their load for one mile.1 With nothing more than a
command, they could requisition a farmer out of his field or
a merchant out of his shop.
In such a case, Jesus said, “Give more than requested.”
Go two. At the end of one mile, keep going. Surprise the
sandals off the soldier by saying, “I haven’t done enough for
you. I’m going a second mile.” Do more than demanded. And
do so with joy and grace!
The Society of the Second Mile still exists. . . . We have a
second-mile servant in our church. By profession he is an
architect. By passion, a servant. He arrives an hour or so prior
to each worship service and makes his rounds through the
men’s restrooms. He wipes the sinks, cleans the mirrors, checks
the toilets, and picks up paper off the floor. No one asked him
to do the work; very few people are aware he does the work.
He tells no one and requests nothing in return. He belongs to
the Society of the Second Mile.
—Every Day Deserves a Chance
Lord Jesus, I want to live each day in a way that will please you.
I know you are calling me to have a servant attitude: to take the
lowest place and to seek to serve. When I am faced with a choice,
may I choose to go the second mile no matter how difficult. And
may I do so with joy and grace and a glad heart. Teach me to live
a God-centered life that will bring honor to your name, amen.
Blessed are those who keep justice,
and he who does righteousness at all times!
The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
He who heeds the word wisely will find good,
and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.