Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 9 : Go the Second Mile | Day 58

Go With Right Attitudes!

There are several attitudes that could be expressed as we obey the command of Jesus to go the second mile. However, only one attitude is the right attitude, and it is the one that will allow us to experience the joy and freedom that Christ planned for us to have when He gave us this important command.

One day I was counseling a couple by phone. I knew the wife was getting ready to leave her husband, and I was trying to avert this tragedy for the sake of the Lord, the couple, and their children. During our conversation, I asked the husband if he felt they had a happy marriage. He responded, "Absolutely, we have had many years of happy marriage." The shocked wife blurted out, "Happy marriage! We have not even had one year of happy marriage." The husband was oblivious to the things that he had done which were causing unhappiness in his marriage. As a result, his wife left him.

During the divorce proceedings, the judge required the husband to pay a certain amount of money to the wife and children each week. Every time he paid this money, a wave of bitterness swept over him. Again he called me and asked what he should do to overcome this bitterness. I encouraged him to give more money to his wife than the judge required. He did not see how this could help, but when he followed the counsel he was amazed! His attitude of bitterness vanished and was overtaken by a spirit of genuine love. There is a Biblical principle here:

Love continues where obligation ends.

When this husband sacrificially gave more than was required by the judge, he began to experience a new sense of love for his wife and family. This is precisely what Jesus states will happen when our treasure is voluntarily given. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).

The wife immediately recognized her husband's new level of love and sensitivity. It caused her to have a new hope that their marriage could work, and in time they were reunited in marriage. If the husband had only understood the principle of voluntarily investing more than is required in the lives of his wife and children at the beginning of the marriage, they would have avoided many years of heartache.

When a "honey-do" list is done out of obligation rather than genuine love, it has a bittersweet taste to it.

The attitude that makes the second mile successful is an expectation and excitement in putting our whole heart and soul into whatever we do as an expression of love for the Lord and for those whom we are serving.

A second-mile mind-set is essential for daily success. Now is the time to embrace it as a regular part of our thinking and doing.

“... Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. ... If any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. ... Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain” (Matthew 5:39-41).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard