Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
Matthew 5:41 (NIV)
41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.
Romans 7:15-20 (NIV)
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Essentially, Paul is saying that he is “imprisoned” by sin and no matter how hard he tries, he continues to do things he knows to be wrong. Sin is forcing him to “go the extra mile”. Inevitably, no matter how hard we try we, too, hurt the people we love or fail to live up to our own expectations. We try to eat healthy and exercise, but our bodies still break down, our cholesterol rises, our heart fails and cancer attacks. Or we save money and plan for the future, but the stock market crashes and we lose our jobs. We are just not in control of as much as we think. But surrendering to the will of Jesus is even harder! “I believe Jesus loves me, but is he really going to give me what I need?” we ask ourselves. If we go with Jesus against our will, even into death, will we come out ok on the other side? Jesus responds with a resurrected body that still shows his scars, but has been transformed into something different and new! Jesus is our hope and our strength that helps us “go the extra mile”.