Think of Others Before Yourself

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

42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. – Matthew 5:41-42

We can look at these statements from Jesus as being literally true, but how often are we asked to walk a mile with someone? We might be asked to lend to someone in need, but there seems to be a bigger issue that Jesus is getting at:

Think of others before yourself.

When someone makes a request of us, it can be tempting to turn the person away because of sheer inconvenience. Maybe we have other things we’d rather spend our time doing instead of helping someone else, or maybe we don’t want to part with possessions that someone needs more than we do.

The ideas that Jesus teach here don’t seem strange to many of us now. It’s no big deal to help someone out or put someone ahead of us in some small way, and I think that is because we have benefitted from living in a predominantly Christian culture.

Some say that basic morality can exist without God, but the fact that Jesus had to teach such simple niceties to others seems to say otherwise. We can see how simple morality has already become corrupted in many ways as the world goes down the path of godlessness, esteeming the ways of Jesus to be outdated, oppressive, or foolish, to name a few slanders held against Him.

The more we get away from His ways, the more these simple niceties will become rarities. As Christians, we hold all teachings of Jesus dear to our hearts, and all the more as we see the world cast them off as some useless thing.  

There’s always an opportunity to deny self and do good to another, and sometimes these small acts provide the greatest opportunity for preaching the gospel or showing others what being a Christian is all about.

This article is part of a series that considers the Parables of Jesus. Right now, we are looking at the statements Jesus made during His Sermon on the Mount, to which He referenced in His Parable of the Building on Rock and Sand. Visit the link for quick access to all articles written within this series. Subscribe for notifications of future posts.

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