The Sermon on the Mount: Day 11

Go the Second Mile

by

Today's Text: Matthew 5:38-42, Exodus 21:23-25, Exodus 22:26-27, Romans 13:1-4, 1 Peter 2:21-23

Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:38-42, Exodus 21:23-25, Exodus 22:26-27, Romans 13:1-4, 1 Peter 2:21-23

You’ve probably felt like a doormat at times. I have too. Worn out, overlooked, stepped on, stepped over, left outside, dirtied, and eventually discarded. I’ve felt it in friendships and in family and in my own home. I’ve felt it in conversations and invitations and misinterpretations. I’ve felt it in my own heart and had it confirmed by others when they didn’t know I could hear.

My temptation is to stand straighter, hold my head higher, and if I’m honest, to sometimes do it right back. Forget to invite. Overlook. Walk past. Not consider. I want to give like in return for like, an eye for an eye, as Jesus said was the norm in Matthew 5:38. This is a human reaction to a human condition; we’re all trading eyes without ever really seeing anything at all. But Jesus wanted to show us another way:

“If anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to the one who asks you, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5:39-42).

In other words, don’t trade eyes for eyes, giving like for like; instead, take the exchange out entirely: Give and turn, then let go. Jesus is essentially telling us to turn our palms up, shoulder the weight we’re not meant to carry, and walk on, going with them for an extra mile. We ought to out-give, out-do, out-serve, and in doing so, bring honor and glory to Him.

We’ve all felt like the doormat, felt the rub of dirty feet across our backs, a by-way for others to step over in their entrance to the feast. But then I think of sweet Jesus, lifting the feet of the disciples—dirty, sore, broken, smelly feet—and washing them with His own hands. The Savior of the world holding the feet of users and walkers and blind men who thought they could see, and washing them, making them clean.

We are not the Savior. We cannot make clean what is unclean, but we can turn our cheeks, anticipating the sting of a broken person’s hand. We can anticipate the swindler, coming to take us for all we’re worth, and give them everything, saying our worth is wrapped up in Christ and not what we own. We can walk not one mile, but two, knowing it takes longer than a mile to long-suffer with someone, finding in the second mile that we are no longer enemies, but friends. And we can give instead of withhold, forgive instead of demanding repayment.

I know the world may see us as doormats still—used, reused, walked over, and forgotten. But with our eyes fixed on Jesus, rather than on judging others, we will see something far better and more glorious than revenge: Christ, who became nothing, obedient to death, even death on a cross, so that we might walk miles and miles and miles with Him, both in this life and in the next.

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Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, and tweets and instagrams at @lorewilbert. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.

  • Kristen Clegs

    Maybe the point is this: when someone treats you like a thing – an object of scorn, a business transaction, a means to their own gain – GIVE MORE! In a sense, this trades roles: the insulter is shamed because you don’t receive the insult; the lender is shamed because he made the debtor naked, and indebted because the debtor gave more; and, for a Jew to carry farther than is lawful means he is now the one excercising free will

    • Kristen Clegs

      (Post continued)
      … exercising free will and it is the Roman who is indebted, shamed, and made a victim to his own laws.
      Giving more puts the perpetrator in the position of indebtedness, opening his eyes to the dignity of humanity.

  • I’m several days behind in this study. But God, who is rich in mercy, knows our needs before we ask. There is a woman at work who is just as cruel as they come and I am her number one target. She is loud about her cruelty and she is mean spirited. I know there are some hard things going on in her personal life and she acts out on them at work- toward me. We have a big meeting today and I know of an issue that she is going to try to raise with me. My first instinct is to defend myself. I want to let them know that she is wrong. I don’t like for people to think I’m irresponsible, that I don’t do my work well and I want them to know how mean she is (which they already do for the most part). I was praying and rehearsing all the different ways I could respond today. I have friends and family praying. I have prayed over and over again for God to give wisdom for my response. Then per my usual, I got to my desk, opened up today’s study and once again…GOD!!!!!! Today, one step at a time I will “continue entrusting myself to the ONE who judges justly”. He loves me and I am His child and that is all I need hold to today- He is the guardian of my reputation if I am entrusting myself to Him today. One step at a time. One moment, one situation at a time.

    • Langston Mahoney

      Isn’t God amazing in his timing? I hope your co-worker was enlightened by your Holy Spirit- inspired conduct and response to her criticism.

  • I’m a few days behind, but now I know why. Because I needed to read these verses today. We are a biracial family in an area of the country in which white supremacy is tolerated. And if not blatantly, then subtly. We are very engaged in a small group through our church. Yesterday I learned that some racist barbs have been thrown my husband’s way from members of that group. It was heartbreaking. I wanted to walk in to the next group ready to call out and confront. Today I’m reminded that would make me complicit. So I choose to walk into group this week and love. I know many would agree and say I would be justified in being angry and confrontational. But I honestly believe Jesus meant every word of this sermon.

    • Natalie

      Thinking about you Brenda. I read this today, thought it was a good lesson – but reading your real life application of the message is humbling. I cannot imagine walking into that room with love, but you’re right, Jesus did mean everything he said in this sermon. Thank you for sharing!

    • Emily

      I’m praying for you today, Brenda. I was also personally affected by a similar hatred when it found its way into my community, and these words spoke to me as well. Radical love for others is always the answer. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • I really needed to read this today. I’ve been fielding some comments from my mother in law (who is usually very kind and loving towards me) that have really hurt my feelings. For days I’ve been stewing over it – thinking of things to say to her that might put her in her place. I’ve cried, I’ve complained to my husband, I’ve called my own mom so that she could reassure me that I’m doing okay. What I need to do is “out-give, out-serve…bring honor and glory to Him.” My actions and thoughts on the matter have accomplished none of these things. I now look at the issue in a new light – what can I do to help my mother in law to get her out of the mood she seems to find herself in? What would Jesus do?

    • Lana

      Hey Kristy! I never come back and reread the comments because I’m always too chicken little to see if anyone has responded to mine lol! But God gave me the courage to come back today and I’m so happy I did. I’ve been in a similar situation. And one day she pushed my buttons so badly, I wrote a text that was very calm and polite, but the passive aggressiveness was all the way live. It ruined the relationship. RUINED IT. It also damaged the relationship with my bf. Up until that point she was introducing me as her daughter in law. That stopped ON THAT DAY. That four line text was a nuclear bomb. It was the politest nuclear bomb you have ever seen LOL. I can laugh about it now because it was one of the best (and one of the most painful) lessons God has blessed me with and I believe God has worked on her heart too. But just take it from me. Surrender your feelings to God. And until you feel like He has changed your heart, DONT SAY A WORD. DONT TEXT A WORD. Wait on God to give you the words and the spirit to reply. HE SEES. He will help you create healthy boundaries in a loving way and he will also work on her heart. The battle is not yours, it is the Lord’s. Surrender yourself to him and he will HELP. That’s what I do now and it works. But I wouldn’t have known how to do that without going through so much heartbreak via that situation. So please take it from me. Just prayed over you and your situation. Hope it helps!

      • Gwrn

        Blown away by Kristi and Lana’s comments. I’m dealing with a very needy dad who seems to enjoy crossing boundaries. However, he’s also a broken-hearted soul since my mom left him after more than 50 years of marriage. It’s so hard to be compassionate when he’s battering St the walls! Thank you for the reminder to give it to God. Our Lord never lets me down!

  • I also found Lana’s explanation to be extremely eye-opening. Not sure if this is where she got the information from, but this blog post talks about some of the same things she said about the historical context: http://www.reenactingtheway.com/blog/turning-the-other-cheek-jesus-peaceful-plan-to-challenge-injustice

  • Jessica P

    “We’re all trading eyes without ever really seeing anything at all” — oh wow, so good

  • Jamie Ward

    I like the what the author is saying, but the phraseology ” doormat” probably isn’t the best description of what Jesus is asking us to be. Humble hearts, yes, but let’s not confuse that with allowing boundaries of safety to be abused. We can love our enemies and also do that by defining what our boundaries are. Also, we can invite Christ to challenge us with those boundaries. For example, if a woman I considered a close friend gossipped and spread rumors about me, what am I to do? We should lovingly confront this person and try to understand them. With this attitude, repentence can happen. If no repentence takes place and the slander continues, we do not continue to break bread and pretend nothing took place. We can love from a distance. We will forgive 70×7 and also establish safe boundary lines.

  • Heather N.

    I definitely don’t think Jesus is saying to be a doormat to everyone. I think responding to hateful people with love shows them who Jesus is, cools down the hateful person & “heaps burning coals on his own head”

  • churchmouse

    That TV sage Dr. Phil says “You teach people how to treat you.” And one of my mantras is “Don’t reward bad behavior.” But the only standard that is truly valid comes from Jesus. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” Just trying to follow those keeps me more than busy. I can rationalize and excuse and justify any of my behaviors. But that doesn’t negate His standard. I also know He looks behind my behavior and into my heart attitude. I can turn the other cheek but be seething inside. I can go the extra mile while muttering a few choice words under my breath. Dear Lord, forgive me! I’m so in need of Your wisdom, guidance and direction in dealing appropriately with those You’ve permitted to come my way. There are the saints, bless their sweet hearts. There are the curmudgeons. There are the mean and nasties. Oh do I need You to help me be Your ambassador to each one. Thank You that You don’t expect perfection but that You do know how I feel – because You encountered the same types of people when You walked the earth. It comforts me that You understand. Help me to know when to speak boldly and when to be silent. Help me to know when to confront and when to walk away. Let Me trust that You are in control and You are fair and just. Let me be at peace and in peace as I follow Your leading in each situation and with each one. Oh how I need You. Amen.

  • Thank you Lana for broader insight on this. That makes so much sense!

  • Angela Graham

    Wonderful! These words speak to my heart deeply today. Thank you.

  • Veronica

    Lore, what beautiful and inspiring words you’ve shared today. This is fresh air for my soul and a perfect example of what beauty even in pain and loneliness can look like. Thank you.

  • Katalina

    I want to share a quick story with my sisters. I have many testimonies that prove to me just how fair God is and that I have nothing to worry about because He fights my battles for me. And I used to struggle with this truth until I saw it with my own eyes. When I moved to NJ with my family, we had nothing. We had to stay with my aunt and uncle. I’m sure many of you know that even though you’re family, it’s hard to live under a roof that’s not yours. We lived with them for over a year because it was hard for my dad to find a job. During those tough months, my uncle sat my brother, my mom and my dad down for a chat…. well that chat turned into a conversation that cut and open wounds in my family, but specifically my dad. He was humiliated in front of his wife and son and although my uncle had said certain things that were true, there were other things that were completely uncalled for, that he had no inclining what he was talking about and the way he went about it was awful. My family knowing this is his house, remained quiet, letting him have the floor and not answering back in any way. Life goes on, we move out, everything is all good. My dad, however, still held a strong anger towards my uncle for what he said and done. But my mom would always tell him, you will see it with your own eyes. God sees it all and He will bring justice when it is due. My uncle works in a parking garage (and has since he moved to the US at the age of 15) and was the President of his company. A year ago they had stripped him from his title and was humiliated in front of his entire company, making every single day he went to work impossible and hell. It lasted for months. Eventually things turned out for the better but those months he suffered took a huge toll on him and my aunt. When my family found out, all we did was pray that the Lord would give him strength and that he too would see justice served for what they put him through. And we would never wish for anything to happen to our loved ones but this is the perfect example of what it is to entrust ourselves to God and believe that His judgement, His justice will be served IF AND WHEN IT IS DUE. My mom said, look, he humiliated you infront of your wife and son, it hurt but that’s nothing. He was humiliated in front of his entire company. That’s why we have to be careful to always treat others the way Jesus did even if it goes against what our human flesh wants. God is fair and He knows what needs to be done. I live my life remembering all the testimonies I witness and I’m hoping this story can bring some insight for any of you who may need it. God sees it all my sisters, He fights your battles always.

    • Irina Tumasyan

      Wow!!! What a story!!! Thank you for sharing your experience and heart with us. God bless that you could share your testimonies with your children to strengthen their faith as well.

  • Diane Huntsman

    Oh Lord have mercy… I am an eye for an eyer in so many ways.. my pride gets hurt and my pride hurts back.. to forgive those who will not forgive me just stretches me beyond what I am able.. so I see clearly where I am which them causes me to see clearly WHO I need to do what I can’t.. Jesus will You please work in me and all my sisters who struggle will You do in us what we can’t do on our own? Chizzle away at the mountain sized pride that hinders our obedience to You.. the blessings we miss as we trade our hurts for hurts, swinging back instead of letting our cheeks get slapped once more.. if my heart was bigger than my ego I might be able to forgo the repayment of a wound.. do what only You can do in hearts as stubborn as mine.. in Jesus I ask all these things.. Amen

    • Hilary

      Thank you for being so candid and honest. I’m in the same boat. My pride and ego get in the way TOO much. I see everything as an eye for an eye. Just recently, had an argued with neighbors and I spoke out of hurt, anger, defensive. Even as I was saying it I knew I shouldn’t. “But they accused me”, I thought.

      I need to LOVE instead of seek revenge. PRAY instead of get even. Thank you for sharing.

  • Thank you so much for this reminder, even when I’ve been rejected, uninvited, walked past, stepped on and left out I know that I am loved by the One who matters most. It is in Him and Him alone that I take refuge, forge ahead and work for His kingdom. To be the hands and feet of Jesus; to live is Christ. Turning the other cheek may be difficult but if my King can do it so can I.

  • Jen Gray

    <3 I have seen these concepts very abused. These vs are not exhorting anyone to stay in an abusive or toxic relationship or to not have boundaries. But I do love the biblical concept of long suffering with others, of being open to the knowledge that loving often means risking getting hurt. It just doesn't mean losing your voice in the process.

  • Thank you,Lana, for your commentary. Beautiful insight to this passage. I will always remember this!

  • Dearest Christian sisters. Please take the content and context of these readings together. If someone physically harms you, it is your right to seek lawful protection. Never stay in harm’s way in a relationship or allow harm to be done to others when you can speak out and seek help. I have seen personally God transform abuse to reconciliation when the abused sought out protection and help.
    We might choose vocations that put us in dangerous situations (first responders, CPS social workers, line workers, missionaries in certain contexts…and many others). But please, never chose to be in a relationship that harms your body and soul. Take bold steps to protect yourself and your family and pray and trust God to renew, correct, and transform those who harm you as you trust in Him to take steps in safety.

    • Nathalie Yanna

      Amen to that !! Personal safety and your children’s safety starts at home. Do not delay taking the necessary steps if it if home is not a safe place. Submission to husbands is not a biblical mandate when a child safety or your own is at stake.

  • I was reading about the historical context of this passage and it’s very interesting. Basically, the section is about restoring your humanity in your oppressors eyes and giving him a chance to repent. Take the go the extra mile example: Jesus mentioned it because Roman soldiers could pick off any Jew on the street and DEMAND that they carry his very heavy bag for one mile. It did not matter if the person was out with their family. It did not matter if the person was young or old. It did not matter if the person had other things they needed to do. The Jew HAD to carry the bag for one mile. But if they carried it for LONGER than one mile, the soldier could get in BIG trouble. Like lose your job trouble. It was a big deal. Jesus was saying to keep walking. Why? Because all of a sudden, you force the soldier to see the situation more clearly. Now he can get in trouble and is reasoning with you to STOP WALKING. And guess what happens during this reasoning process? He starts seeing you as a person and he has a chance to realize how stupid and unjust this policy actually is. It reclaims YOUR humanity and gives him a chance to repent.

    Second example with the coat: being publicly naked was a great shame in this society. HUGE SHAME. Jesus was saying if someone is coming after you so intensely that they literally want to take everything you have, give them your coat too. This will make you literally publicly naked. And now the person who has dragged you in the dirt feels ashamed of your public nakedness. He’s begging you to keep your coat on. Do not shame the both of you he says. And guess what? In this reasoning with you, he sees you as a person again. You have reclaimed your humanity and given him the chance to repent.

    As for the turn the other cheek, I don’t remember this example so well, but it was in the same spirit. In that culture, using a certain hand for things was a big deal. You used your right hand for things and you used your left hand for things. If someone slaps you, they are degrading you (especially because they’re using their right hand). But if you turn the other cheek in the midst of being hit again, it forces the person to use their other hand, which basically denoted equality in that culture (or something like that). The person has to think before he hits you again. And by making this silent and bold statement, you have reclaimed your humanity and given the violent one a chance to think about his actions. It’s an offer to repent.

    So when you take into the cultural considerations of this time, it’s not about being a doormat at all. The message is so much better! It’s about how to respond to violence with LOVE. And love is not enabling. It is gently and kindly correcting unloving behavior.

    • Sarah

      This so interesting!! Thanks for sharing Lana!

    • Tricia C

      Wow Lana. I appreciate you taking the time to share this. It all makes more sense now.
      Have a great Thursday everyone!

    • EarlyBird

      Wow! That is some great info right there. Thanks for digging deeper and sharing!

    • AimeeJoy

      Wow! This is such great insight and so helpful for me! I love the idea that we approach injustice by invoking a sense of empathy and giving the other person an opportunity to change their behavior. It reminds me of how the pharisees would manipulate the law to create loopholes. They would come up with caveats so that they were not breaking the law, just bending it a little. But Jesus comes in the picture and says, no, even bending the law is breaking it because both are done in the same spirit and intention. In the same way, we patiently point out to the oppressor that even walking one mile hurts just as much as walking two miles because it is done in the same spirit. Our focus therefore becomes pointing out the loving spirit of the law that call us to empathetic living, not just the letter of the law which we can do without considering others.

    • Shannon

      Hi Lana, where did you find this info. it really makes sense! thanks for sharing and helping us decipher these difficult passages!

    • cj8of8

      Great insight here. Thank you for sharing! It reminded me of something I had heard a while back but really didn’t know the scripture reference to rely on.. The saying was, “you can’t change people, but you can change their attitude and they will change themselves. ” now I see it differently. . A chance for them to repent. Our am “ahha” moment where God works on their heart as only God can do. God uses our very sacrifice or their wrong to work on us both. . Our obedience and their conversion. If we really have in our hearts the desire for all to come to a knowledge and love for Jesus, He helps us do it. God is so very good and His ways are so beyond what we can possibly fathom. How blessed are we if we are present to actually see Him work.
      Very encouraging read today. Thank you for sharing !

    • marci waters

      yes! the dear Lord always wanted lasting attitude change . We need to do our part , but in doing that others may turn to Him. (by the way, the turn the other cheek – I remember hearing a teaching along the same lines – and by turning the other cheek it forced the person to hit with the other hand, the hand that would bring humiliation to the “hitter”.

  • I SO needed this today. I’ve been feeling just used up and have felt bitterness start to creep in regarding our church family. I feel like the same people just give and give and give and other people just come to consume and it’s been exhausting me. As I read this, I was so encouraged and God was whispering that there’s no reason to quit all the places I serve (which has been the idea I’ve been floating…) but to double down. What would bolster other volunteers? What would encourage the people working along side me? What would make the people we’re serving feel even more loved? THIS is where the fruit is, this is where Jesus is found- in the reliance on Him, in the tapping in.

    • Stephanie

      I needed this, too. I was crying by the end of the first paragraph because it reached down to my broken heart today, and I knew God knew and heard and He wasn’t leaving me here where I am without knowing what He’s doing. I so much want to retreat and hide and just avoid all opportunities to be hurt and be a doormat, but as you’re saying, this was encouragement to find my footing and stand in Him because He is here, and this is for His glory, and it’s not my job to inflict wrong for wrong, but to keep doing the next right thing over and over again.

  • This really helped me today…truth I already knew but loved the reminder. My husband sometimes talks to me with a condensending tone and I sometimes snap back. Thanks for the reminder, Lore.

  • I’ve saved so many quotes from today’s devotional already! This was wonderful Lore. Thank you so much!

  • I think humility, like the true humility of Jesus in the 1 Peter passage, is when you have the power to “exact revenge” or whatever, but you choose not to. If you are a child being bullied or an adult in an abusive relationship, you don’t have power, and you need someone to come to you and help. I really think these verses are about what we do with the power and the gifts God gives us.

  • I so appreciate today’s message. For me, I have needed to add one more scripture reference: John 15:5. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches, apart from me, you can do nothing.” I find when I am in Him, I can turn the other cheek, I can love my enemy, I can resist the desire to retaliate, even lose the desire to. Apart from Him, I am a pile of flesh, ready to retaliate, in Him, I can bear His fruit of love, peace , joy, patience, long suffering.

    • Other Karen

      Absolutely! Thank you for this addition. I was just pondering how very hard it is do for human nature so often gets the best of me! Thankfully, it is not by my own strength, but resting in His!

  • Kristine L

    So here’s my problem. I get offended, or walked over, or metaphorically slapped in the face, and I know what Jesus asks of me. So I’m all “oh yeah? Well I’m gonna out-Christian you with my humble cheek-turning! I dare you to slap the other cheek too!” I turn into an ugly passive-aggressive martyr just to prove a point. Which is so NOT the point. For me it comes down to motivation. If someone steals my time, can I offer more with a willing heart? If someone hurts me with their words, can I continue to love them with Christ’s love?

  • Stephanie

    Hmmm…I have to say I’m struggling with this idea. I have always tried to go the extra mile for people, even when they haven’t treated me nicely. I understand that this is my Christian duty and I’m happy to do it. But to be a doormat? My mum always taught me never to be a doormat. Never to let myself get repeatedly abused and walked all over by people. So to read in today’s reading that I should be a doormat? You can imagine how jarring that is! To me, there is a distinct difference between being a doormat and going the extra mile for people, even ones who treat you with unkindness and disdain, and loving unconditionally those who mean you harm. Are we really supposed to just sit and take endless abuse, hatred and unkindness? Because in my experience and the experience of others, that can lead to unhealthy relationships, depression, eating disorders and other mental illnesses. And surely that’s not what God intends for us? I think there is a way to be godly in standing up for ourselves and teaching others that they should treat people the way they would want to be treated (also a teaching of Jesus). I could, of course, be wrong so would really appreciate others’ input!

    • Kathy

      Stephanie, I don’t believe that this passage is teaching us to be doormats. If I am in a relationship or in a position where someone is continually abusing me in spite of everything I have done to repair the situation then I need to walk away. Not in anger or with the desire to exact revenge or get even, but for my own safety – physically, emotionally, spiritually. Paul wrote in Romans 12:14-18, “Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
      I believe that it is my responsibility to do all that I can to live in such a way that people see Christ in me. However, I also believe that there are some people you have to walk away from. Give them what they want and if that’s not enough, walk away.
      I hope this helps a little.

      • Kristine L

        Agreed. I think this is a “don’t seek revenge ” passage rather than a “be a doormat” passage.

    • Laura

      You bring up a good point and I agree with the points discussed on response. I look at this passage as Jesus saying, “laura, I’m enough. You don’t need justification, reward, or anything from this earth. You need me. Show others they are missing this miracle. ” So in moments, I may look like a doormat to an outsider. But the key is we will never be doormats. We are The King’s daughters. This is challenging me to remember in those moments when I want to emotionally vindicate or expose unfairness or just plain meanness, to discern if God is asking me to look to His love and give instead of vindicate. Now, intimate circle relationships to me are different. Like you point out this mindset applied to those can lead to brokenness. IN my opinion, Jesus isn’t saying don’t be safe or wise. Those sharing relationships are not who is the slapper and the taker here. The slapper and taker don’t know Jesus. And there are other verses about how to confront unhealthy behavior in believers. Just some thoughts.

    • Other Karen

      I agree with the other comments here. Jesus never meant to say we should tolerate abuse or ongoing unhealthy relationships. This is about showing Christ’s love, not retaliating, and giving second chances…go the second mile, not a lifetime of miles!

    • AimeeJoy

      Stephanie, a few posts above yours you’ll find that Lana posted some good historical context. It helped my perspective of this passage. In no way are we told to be doormats to abuse (whether that be from others or from ourselves for not going the extra mile). God is a just God and he does not condone injustice. However, He does use times of injustice to point to the healed world he intends for his people. In the extremes, God presents human beings with the opportunity to better see the difference between brokenness and a healed relationship with Him; and ultimately make a choice.

    • Claire

      I don’t think it means be a literal doormat. I think the thought is to do what you can and not be resentful re: it.

  • Having walked 9.5k, this last Sunday, to raise funds for Alzheimers, I felt an ache reading this, this morning…
    The walk, whilst in the company of loved ones and like minded people was fine…. for the first couple of miles, but it sooooon began to feel like a chore as I began to feel tired, feel pain in my calf muscles, needing to drink yet only taking sips, as not sure where the next pee stop will be, etc…
    I chose to do this walk, and I am sure all walking also chose too, because of love for someone who has or is suffering with the dreaded illness.., so for me, I was going to keep going… no matter what.. I was doing it for my dear mum.
    Now, when you are being walked over, when people are abusing your good nature, your kind heart, thats a hard one to chose to do…. to walk the second mile…

    But God…
    God in our hearts, God in our lives, says in His Word,

    “If anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to the one who asks you, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5:39-42)
    Ouch, when there is negativity of heart, and there is discord, the last thing you want to do, give to or hang out, with someone who has no interest in you except to use you…or take advantage of you…

    Truth is…. and its gonna hurt… God could, and has every right to treat or act the same way we feel, in these situations….
    But God…. doesn’t. He walks the miles however long, He gives, gives, gives and keeps giving, He doesn’t just turn the other cheek, He offers His whole body…

    He offers His whole body…

    He offers His whole body…

    Yep, suddenly I feel a fraud, I feel like the man whose debt was pardoned and leaves only to have one who owes him less thrown in jail…. It is hard, knowing that you are being used, it is hard.. but to be Christ like, to be a true follower of Jesus, but this is the walk we have been asked to walk, and if nothing else should we not obey, knowing He is with us… and He will give us the strength, protection, grace, mercy to see this through…
    I’ve waffled.
    Sorry…
    Happy Thursday folks, Be Blessed… x

  • Karen From Virginia

    The Lord continues to teach me mercy as He gives me people in my path (my job) to love, to take their anger and burdens and teach/ counsel them to a better place. To take steps out of fear. It’s not easy. I’m learning to lean and trust God for the process
    I’m awake now in pain (neck and head). Praying God will help me through this and some relief.

    • Julie

      Lord I pray for Karen to have relief from her head and neck pain. May she feel your loving hand healing her and restoring her to complete health. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me, and I will be saved, for you are my praise. Blessings to you. Hope you are feeling better!

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Karen, thanks so much for being willing to share. We are praying for you now for relief from that pain, and also for you in your workplace! – Abby, The SRT Team

  • aprilinsydney

    Last month I became an Australian citizenship; my third citizenship. For each of the two nationalisations, I stood and pledged (I did not take an oath on the Bible) to uphold the values of the nation. So, I was quite interested in the passages Romans 13:1-4, A Christian’s Duties to the State.

    The Message translation was particularly interesting: “In so far as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen.” And “Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.”

    *This is not a political statement*

    There is currently a genocide of the Rohingya people in Burma; Australia has thousands of asylum seekers locked up on islands in PNG; the US wants to expel residents and build a wall in the name of national security; alleged political ideology dissidents “disappear” in China… the list goes on.

    I am wondering how we, as Christians, are to respond — in light of today’s entire reading — to the injustices of state abuse of its citizens? Including the “decent” ones?

    I feel it is something we cannot ignore. Yet, how do we act?

    • Stephanie

      I wasn’t thinking exactly the same thing. When the leadership of your country makes decisions that are directly against your Christian faith, how should we respond? Are we supposed to just blindly tow the line? I don’t know what the answer is so am looking forward to hearing others’ thoughts.

      • Stephanie

        Oops! Sorry…meant to say “I was thinking the same thing”, not “wasn’t!”

      • Kristen

        I know we are to pray for our leaders. I also think we should do what we can to help others in need of that are being persuctated. I don’t think we should do anything that goes against God. For example, when they wouldn’t pray to the king in the book of Daniel. I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I heard a pastor say to be submissive or obedient to a spouse or parent unless it goes against God. I’m not sure what that exactly entails. We shouldn’t gamble, so should we not buy a lottery ticket if a family member asks? By the way, I don’t play the lottery. Let me know. I do want to be obedient to God, because that will lead to peace. Of course, I need his help all the time!

      • Claire

        If you truly don’t believe in gambling then selling or buying a raffle ticket is wrong. I don’t have an issue with gambling as long as you are not shirking your family, financial or giving responsibility. But I get my feathers ruffled when lectured by someone that doesn’t believe in gambling then wants me to buy a raffle ticket for something charitable. I just make a donation if I feel led to support the cause but I will not take a raffle ticket from them as I believe they are breaking their own belief system and I don’t want to aid that.

    • Kathy

      As Christians I believe that we are called to obey every law in our nation, whether they appear to us to be just or unjust. Except when we’re told we can’t worship or obey Scripture, then we can push back against our government. We are responsible to live out our justification by grace through faith. Part of that is going to be speaking against sin, against injustice, against evil, against immorality, fearlessly and without hestitation, but still giving honor to those who are in authority over us.
      This quote really made me think. “In fact, it is the obedience of Christians to unfair laws, the obedience of Christians to unjust rulers in the early years of the Roman Empire, the obedience of Christians through persecutions that brought tolerance, acceptance, and finally Christianity to that same empire.”
      Acts 4 is a great story of what to do when those over you make decisions that conflict with what God has said.

    • Megan

      In general, I think we’re supposed to help individual people, and speak up about actions or policies that go against our faith. William Wilberforce is a great example.
      For the most part, I agree with Kathy about obeying the laws, but I do think there’s a time for civil disobedience if it’s done with the right attitude (like MLK Jr. or Gandhi).

      • Leenda324

        Agree so much!

      • churchmouse

        I vote. I do my best to speak the Truth in love. And most importantly, I pray. For hearts and minds to change. For personal and national revival. And I talk about Jesus. He is sovereign. He places and replaces those in authority. I trust Him and the why that He alone knows.

    • Tania

      The I Peter 2:21-23 verse is the one that caught me today. Jesus suffered, totally unfairly at the hands of not only the government authority but the religious leadership as well. But his response was to “continue entrusting himself to Him who judges justly.” I see the same global suffering and it’s overwhelming and it tears at my heart. I also know that man has been treating man inhumanely for…millennia. I am the granddaughter of immigrants who fled their country 100 years ago because they were persecuted for their Christian faith. Their life was was a struggle for decades, but they never stopped trusting that they were in God’s hands. My grampa brought so many to Jesus because he just loved his neighbor, literally.

      There is evil in this world that only God Himself can (and will) defeat. In the meantime, we show love, mercy, kindness…vote if we have that privilege… and continue to entrust ourselves to Him.

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