Just Getting By

Posted by on Jun 10, 2022 in Articles | 0 comments

And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Matthew 5:41

We have all at some point done something or used something in hopes of just getting by. We are admitting within ourselves the situation, whatever it may be, could be better. However, we allow ourselves to be satisfied with what we’ve determined as adequate. The setting of Matthew 5:41’s statement of the Lord is that the Roman soldiers could and often did compel or force citizens to carry loads for them. Jesus is teaching here that we should go the extra mile and not be satisfied with just doing as little as required. 

The Lord goes on in this context to teach a love of all men. Matthew 5:43-44 continues, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Later it’s written in Romans 12:20-21 that this will “heap coals of fire upon his head”. By extending kindness to those who have wronged us, we have a means of causing them regret and shame for wrongful actions directed towards us. In many cases, this is the only way to heal a damaged relationship. In Romans 12:21 we see the phrase “overcome evil with good”. The simple fact is we are to be the bigger person and do what is right, not what the guilty party might “deserve”. Their punishment is reserved for God, not us. Romans 12:19 states, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord”.  

We learn, through studying the New Testament, the Jews were not happy in the least being under Roman rule and later Christians would see great persecution at the hands of them. Jesus goes on to further illustrate that if our love and respect is only demonstrated towards those who we know will return it we are no different than the rest of the world (Matt 5:46-47). At the end of the day, we as Christians do what is right, not because who we are around or who they are or how we feel about them. We do what is right and treat others kindly because of who we desire to be as a person. 1 Peter 2:9 clarifies this, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”.

By Jason Barger

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