Going the extra mile with a smile?
Going the extra mile with gritted teeth, trying to sound nice about it, is about the best I normally manage!
The problem is that I believe we miss much of what God wants to do in us and through us is because it wears overalls and looks too much like work!
Often the greatest moments of fruitfulness in our lives come from being inconvienced.
Also, our acts of service, show us where our heart is, I don’t really mind going the extra mile for my wife, or for my daughter because I love them.
Does my reluctance to go that extra mile actually show where my heart is, the lack of love that I have, if I loved more would I be prepared to go the extra mile more?
If I cared more about blessing people and less about my own comfort perhaps I’d do the right thing with more of a cheer?
I find the verses in the Bible which says “freely you have recieved, so freely give” or “those who have been forgiven much love much and those who have been forgiven little love little” immensely challenging as I know I’ve been forgiven much but sadly don’t always love much.
I know God has been incredibly generous to me, the cross is so much much more than the extra mile, and although I don’t think he did it with a smile, the Book of Hebrews talks about “for the Joy that was set before him he endured the cross”, what was this motivating joy that spurred Christ on to do this amazing act of sacrificial love? I believe it was you and I coming to know him, and recieving the forgiveness of our sins, friendship with God and eternal life.
When we encounter people as Christians they form a picture of What God is like from the way we encounter them, I want people to know Gods generous extravagent love, yet I have to fight the temptation to be a bit mean spirited.
I know too just how patient God has been with me (and still is) and yet I get impatient and irritated with people.
Yet I have seen and heard wonderful examples of saints who have really “gone the extra mile with a smile” and want to be like them, but when the phone rings in the early hours of the morning my first thoughts aren’t always very Christian, especially if I have a differnt view on whether,or not, it is a real emergency.
The more I thought about this, the more I beat myself up about it, which never actually helps us lead a more Godly life, just makes us feel horribly condemned.
I wondered whether going the extra mile was a bit like something I learned when thinking about mission when I feel afraid about talking and stepping out, the answer is even though you feel the fearful still do it!
Even when you don’t feel like it, go the extra mile.
Often once you’ve done it, you’ll be glad you did, it might even make you smile!