• By Rev. Joseph A. Bias

Sacrifice The Extra Mile

And 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.” Matthew 5:42 NKJV

“And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two [miles].Give to him who keeps on begging from you, and do not turn away from him who would borrow [at interest] from you.” Matthew 5:42 AMP

“And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.” Matthew 5:41-42 THE MESSAGE

The wisdom of the Word discourages borrowing because it entangles the borrower with debt that oftentimes can become their financial undoing and while they are in debt they are servants to the lender.

God did not establish His people, the nation of the sons of Israel, to be servants, but to be above others only and not beneath in matters of material goods and prosperity, to be a nation of kings and priests unto Him. {Genesis 12:2; Revelation 1:6; 1Peter 2:9]

Among themselves (the people, the tribes of Israel) they were to be compassionate and supportive, sharing generously with their fellows in need and not to gain advantage over them or to put them under bondage.

The Law was clear about borrowing and lending.

"If you lend money to any of My people with you who is poor, you shall not be to him as a creditor, neither shall you require interest from him." Exodus 22:25

“You shall not give him your money at interest nor lend him food at a profit.” Leviticus 25:37

But this system was only intended for those who were under the same Law of Moses, those who were also sons and daughters of Israel, fellow Jews. It did not extend to foreigners and those who were not sealed under the Law of Moses.

“You may lend on interest to a foreigner, but to your brother you shall not lend on interest, that the Lord your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land to which you go to possess it.” Deuteronomy 23:20

The prohibition to borrowing was to protect the people of God from being unequally yoked, tied by debt to a foreigner who neither knew nor respected the Laws of Moses and was not subject to them.

“The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7

“For the Lord thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.” Deuteronomy 15:6

Now, Jesus does not encourage borrowing in this passage but He does emphasize the importance of dealing generously with those who are in need, particularly the poor. In the fulfillment of the Law He was notin anyway advocating a socialist system of redistributing wealth to make everybody equal. There is no such thing in Scriptures.

As the people of God when dealing with others of like faith He is saying be generous and lend, but do so without the intent of demanding repayment or threats to engendering fear in the heart of the borrower of legal action to exact repayment.

Knowing that in Christ we share in the ownership of all things that are His inheritance, that is, all the resources of creation because we are His joint heirs with Him, we, therefore, can be and indeed must be generous unto all as His (family identified) representatives in the world.

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Romans 8:16-17

If then, we possess all things in Christ we have no fear of loss because God is our source of supply and His resources are limitless. Moreover, because the attitude of our heart is to love and to express the Love of God in all that we do in living generously and compassionately with others, particularly those of like faith, we want to be a blessing because we are so blessed.

I particularly like The Message translation of this passage because it goes directly to the heart of the matter. "No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.” If we employ this attitude in all our relationships, in giving, in forgiving, in kindness, in compassion, in patience, in long suffering, in gentleness, in bearing one another’s burdens, in generosity, in our integrity, in honesty, in decency, but mostly in loving as Jesus loves, we would all be tremendously blessed and enriched by the blessing of God’s pleasure with us.

Human response at best goes the expected and requested mile. Godly response, motivated by love goes the requested mile and then goes the extra mile and by implication the third, fourth and fifth mile if that’s what it takes.

#TheExtraMile #Sacrifice #MinistryofHelps #Servicetoothers


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