Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Extra (08/29/13)
TITLE: The Extra-Mile Attitude
By Debbie Swain
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When we become a Christian, in order to have the “extra-mile attitude”, we need to focus on how Jesus lived, and forgave. The teachings of Jesus makes it clear that we honor God as we do our very best in all we do and go the extra mile, even when others have wronged us. It is easy to love the lovely, however it truly takes God’s love permeating our hearts in order to love those who are not so lovely. It is important to understand what it means to live a Christ-centered life if we want to have the extra-mile attitude. In order to live and respond as Jesus did, we need to depend on God’s supernatural grace and strength. Because our human minds want to retaliate when we are wronged, we can’t always whole-heartedly forgive as we should, and that is why we HAVE to depend on God to give us that “extra-mile attitude”.
The Bible says in II Timothy 3:1-2, (paraphrased) “In the last days, perilous times shall come. Men will be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.” This is so contrary to what Jesus taught and lived. In today’s world and even in the workplace, many are focused on how little they can get by with doing. The days of “doing what it takes to do a great job”, are fewer and farther between. In learning what Jesus meant about the “extra-mile attitude”, we have to take our minds off ourselves and be more concerned about others and doing what is right, even if it hurts or if we are wronged.
A recent family incident made me understand this principle more than ever. As I realized that hurting people, hurt people, God helped me understand that I needed to help a family member who had wronged me. Nobody likes to have an untruth told about them, especially when you are sincerely trying to do your best. Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10), and he is out to cause strife and stir up trouble, especially in families. Once again, as a Christian, we who know better, and are focused on what Jesus would do, have to understand “WHO” the enemy is and come against the real predator. Stepping back from the situation and taking time to see who is causing the strife, gives us a different perspective. It takes listening with our hearts and remembering what God wants in our lives, to know how to respond correctly.
It is heart-breaking to watch some of the current evening television shows. The dominating overtones of disrespect for parents and for others, has become the “norm” and reflects so much of our world today. I was appalled at what I found recently when changing the channels in an effort to find a decent show. It was very sad to see that words had to be printed on the screen because the people on the show were not speaking plainly enough to be understood. The off-color comments were sickening and the disrespectful attitude toward the mother was very foreign to my way of thinking. Is this the attitude we want to pass to the next generation?
The world is watching those of us who “KNOW” how to live and respond correctly. We have an awesome responsibility to do our best in showing this generation how to have the “extra-mile attitude”. If we, who know better, don’t pick up the torch of righteousness and carry it high for others to see, our grandchildren will never be fortunate to live in a world where they see others have that love and respect. Unless we teach by example and show the next generation how Jesus loved, cared and forgave, they will not understand the concept of what it means to go the extra mile. May I challenge those of us who are Christians, to take a stand for what is right, forgive those who hurt us, even if they are wrong, and allow God’s love to help us see others through His eyes?
The ultimate in forgiveness was when Jesus hung on the cross of Calvary and gave His life for all our sins. I shudder to think what we would have done had we been in His place? More than likely, in our human way of thinking, we would have come down from the cross because others had wronged us. Thankfully, Jesus was the perfect example of the “extra-mile attitude”.
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