Make a difference, go the extra mile

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 20, 2019

Recently, Fox News commentator Ed Henry gave part of his liver to his sister, who is battling a life-threatening liver disease.  He went the extra mile to save his sister’s life. Through the years, I’ve met people who have donated a kidney to a family member or friend.

Going the extra mile can make a difference for someone else.  To go the extra mile means you walk more than a mile in their shoes.  In other words, you “see” a person’s need and realize something must be done. 

You choose to step up and go the distance, even beyond the first mile, though it may not be required of you.  It’s like practicing the Golden Rule, one foot at a time.  It’s showing compassion and kindness, not selfishness. Jesus made a statement in Matthew 5:41, “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” (NKJ)

Dr. O. S. Hawkins, author of “The Joshua Code,” explains the history behind that verse.  He states that the Romans built more than 50,000 miles of super highways for traveling throughout their empire.  A stone marker was placed at every single mile, pointing out the direction to the next town and to Rome.  He adds, “Hence the common phrase, ‘All roads lead to Rome.’”

Dr. Hawkins goes on to say, “By law, a Roman citizen or soldier could compel a subject from one of the conquered lands to carry his backpack, or load, for him for one mile, but one mile only. As Jesus was preaching His Sermon on the Mount…..(He) called upon His hearers to do what was required of them — and then some.”

I experienced people going the extra mile when I ran my first 5K (3.1 miles).  After completing a “Run for God” class, which is a 12-week training plan with a Christian focus, the race day arrived.  When I could see the finish line in the distance, some of the faster runners, who had finished the race, came back and ran beside me, cheering me on to the finish line.

Dr. Hawkins notes, “One cannot travel the second mile without influencing others. It only takes one second miler in a home to change the entire environment. It only takes one second miler on a team or in the office to do the same.”

Hawkins believes, “The second mile is motivated by the love of Christ….the second mile is the mile our Lord Himself walked. He knows the road very well…He journeyed the first mile. He stepped out of heaven and into human flesh. He walked the mandated mile that was motivated by the law. He kept every detail of the law. But He also went the second mile, motivated by His own love for us.

“He who made the stars with a spoken word and formed the universe, the One who formed and fashioned us with His own hands, said, ‘I love you, and I will walk with you.’ But we went our own way.  Then He said, ‘I will go the second mile.’  It took Him to the cross where He bore the weight, not of a Roman soldier’s backpack, but of our own sin.”

Make a difference for someone else by going the extra mile!

Jan White is a national award-winning religion columnist. She can be reached at