Have you ever wanted to succeed at a high level? To set yourself apart from others and achieve things most people don’t? Would you like to be the one at your office that everyone else thinks of as the go-to person? The path to becoming a high achiever is quite simple. Easy never, but very simple.
The Way to Live
In Matthew 5, Jesus is teaching the crowd how to live. He cites a law of Israel, that when someone wrongs you and you lose sight in one eye, retribution was the law—the one who harmed you would lose that eye too. Some for a tooth, or any other similar situation. The point was, what harm comes to you from another individual, you may justly give the same harm back to them in retribution.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41 Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
Fair is Fair
Jesus does not deny that you are justly able to take an eye for an eye. That is the law and that is fair. But Jesus teaches that you should forgo this right. Instead, Jesus instructs us to respond to evil with love. When we are wronged, instead of seeking to hurt our enemy, we are to seek after his good.
One Mile and Drop It
Now for the famous line in verse 41, go the extra mile. If someone you didn’t like forced you to carry his stuff for him for one mile, what would you want to do at mile 1.1? Drop it on the ground, right? Well Jesus teaches us something profound: carry it another mile of your own accord.
Think now of the people in your life who you’re around in a typical week: your family, your friends, your boss and coworkers. Hopefully you don’t think of all these people as your enemies, hopefully you like them better than an enemy. But how often do you go the extra mile for them?
What Did We Do Last Week?
When your wife asks you to help her with something, do you growl and complain, get it done quick and plop down on the couch? Or do you go the extra mile? When your boss gives you an assignment that you think is stupid, do you slowly trudge through it with a bad attitude? Or do you go the extra mile? When your kids ask you to play with them, do you hurry up and get it over with so you can get to what you want to do? Or do you dive in with enthusiasm and go the extra mile?
Set Yourself Apart
This behavior of willingly exceeding the expectations of those around you, regardless of whether you like them or find them awful people, will set you so far apart from the norm that you can’t believe it. So few people live this way, and it is a guaranteed way to set yourself apart from and ahead of others. People who live lives of mediocrity most likely won’t like to see you doing this because of the way it makes them look in comparison. Don’t let them drag you down; the people who you want to surround yourself with are already extra-mile people, and it won’t take them long to notice you. The rewards are great, the path is simple; do the hard work and we’ll see you at the top!