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What Jesus meant by saying, 'Go the extra mile'

Going the extra mile
Going the extra mile
Margaret Minnicks

You have probably heard the expression, "go the extra mile," but do you know what the expression means? "Going the extra mile" simply means doing more than is expected of you. It means not taking shortcuts but going beyond what you have been assigned to do.

"Going the extra mile" is a biblical expression. During His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told His followers to go the extra mile as recorded in Matthew 5:41. In fact, in some versions of the Bible, Jesus says to go two miles. In essence, Jesus instructed His listeners to double their efforts, to go the extra mile. Jesus was making reference to the practice at that time when a Roman soldier would compel a Jewish native to carry his equipment for one Roman mile. This was no easy task considering a Roman soldier's backpack could weigh upwards of 100 pounds. Today, to go the extra mile means Jesus' followers must relinquish their individual rights in order to advance God's kingdom through self-sacrifice.

The concept of going the extra mile is appropriate for business, relationships, ministry and anything else you deem important. If you want to succeed, it is essential that you do more than the normal things. You shall do more than you have to, and do so with an attitude of generosity. Give of yourself in ways that make others take notice.

The beauty of going the extra mile is that your heart grows tender when you extend yourselves beyond what's expected. Going the extra mile is a vital ingredient that lifts your mood for doing it, and it definitely lifts the mood of those you help.