Growing In Jesus Lesson 3
“And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two.” Matt. 5:41
None of us like to be forced to do anything against our will, but if our will is involved we are quite happy to be doing whatever the task is. Just think about the last thing you wanted that was impossible to get and how somehow you managed to achieve it in spite of all the obstacles. Think of how many obstacles the Lord puts in our way of things that would get us into trouble and yet we are able to override them to... There are are quite a few verses in the Bible telling of the nature of man to keep pressing on in sin in spite of the discipline the Lord has sent to be a deterrent to it.
I used to tell my employees when they would start complaining about a job I had given them, that if they would just change their words and say, “I love doing this” and then begin to put their heart into it, that suddenly the job would be fun and not a hardship. I remember having to use this on myself quite a few times to! One of my friends used to work for me and we had an understanding between us that when things were really stressful in the restaurant, we would check in with each other and give each other the thumbs up and say “it's going great” with that smile that says we will make it through yet again! That got me through a lot of stressful nights and added quite a bit of humor and encouragement at the same time.
This verse is a good way to be instructed on this very principle. When we are being forced or taken advantage of, if we will commit ourselves to doing more than we have been made to do, our will, will suddenly be engaged and whatever it is we are being forced to do will no longer seem unbearable to us.
Jesus is always wanting our hearts to be free of resentments. He is always wanting to make it clear to us that there are no resentments in His heart and there must be none in ours either. So in His way of showing us how to live, He explains that there is no such thing as considering yourself too good to be forced to do something against your will. We are to have the mindset of being a joyful servant in the midst of any unfairness that might come upon us. It’s amazing to think that Jesus has the very heart that He expects us to have. A heart of joyful unselfishness that is already committed to going the extra mile before it has even been required of it.
So now instead of every new and challenging circumstance causing us to grumble and complain, we will already be prepared to go forward joyfully and with no bitterness or resentment to mar our countenance. Going the extra mile has the ability to affect how we live every day!
_ Give an example of something you have been praying about and that God has been giving you victory in.
_ Find another verse or two in the Bible that also illustrate having a joyful attitude when hard things have been required of us. Share your thoughts on how they apply to you.