Taking Back the Initiative - Going the Extra Mile

With reference Mat 5:38-48, especially v39, "...But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also", many people are confused about what it means. Some people even misunderstand it to mean Christians are to give in to bullies.

In the passage, we have the contrasting teachings of the world and the kingdom of God.
The worldly teaching is
  1. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. vs38
  2. You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. vs43
In contrast, the Kingdom of God's teaching is:
  1. Do not resist the one who is evil - give more than than he needs. v39-42
  2. Love your enemies & pray for those who persecute you.
In v39, we must first differentiate the 'one', the person, from his 'evil' deed. The evil deed is defined in the context of slapping (one has not such right to hit another), suing to take tunic ( he is using legal means to get something that is probably not his), going the extra mile ( the special privilege of the Roman soldier) and so forth. The evil is making unreasonable demand on someone.

Surprise him - Do more than is Needed!
The worldly wisdom is for us to fight for our own right and to strike back or counter sue. Here, Kingdom's teaching wants us to look the need of the person who resorted to such evil act. He must be in dire needs to do such thing. Our reaction is not to fight back, but to find out the person's motivation and needs behind those evil actions. Jesus want us to ignore the bad acts and to empathize with the person and to help him instead. We need to go deeper to fix the problem at the root. Instead of fighting back, we ask "why are you doing it?", "what is your real need". Once we find out, we go out of our way to truly help him out.

Making unexpected reaction will surprise the aggressor (he expected us to fight back) and we take back the initiative so that we can be in position to influence and change the outcome for good.

Let's go One Step Further!
Not resisting evil and going the extra-mile while is good, is still not good enough. It is relatively passive in helping others; we are waiting for them to take action first before we response. So, Jesus go further in v44 that we should take the proactive step of loving enemy; praying for them first.

Before we argue with God that it is impossible for us to that, we need to know that God already know that we could not. That is why God has given us Jesus Christ in us to enable us. Because we are children of God with God's identity, then we could what God want us to do (v45, 48). We are to love with the love of Jesus that is in us. I call this the Rhodium Rule (Rodium is about 4-6 times the price of Platinum). As a side track, the three rules of love are:
  1. The Golden Rule - Do unto others as you would others do unto you (empathy is implied)
  2. The Platinum Rule - Do Unto Others as They Would Have You Do Unto Them (Do they know what is best for themselves?)
  3. The Rhodium Rule - Do unto others as Jesus would have us do unto them (For their Good from God's viewpoint).
Applying Them in Our Lives
We can apply the "Going the Extra Mile Rule" in our lives - in our business, family, and friends tec. In business, it means delighting the customers and differentiating our services from our competitors. Innovation Rules (BVITS's Intensified/Extremity) operator) tells us to look the needs and feedback not just from our normal customers, but the extreme ends of our customers. Those that are extremely happy with us and those that hate us. Digging deeper into their feedbacks can tell us a lot about our product and services and give us leads on to how to improve our products and services.

In business, going the extra mile for staff means
  1. as staff: giving our best in our works from our hearts as if we are working for Jesus Christ (Eph 6:5-8).
  2. as bosses: treating our staff with fairness, recognition, appreciation, trust and delegation of decision making authority, accountability and forgiveness for failures (Eph 6:9).
As a spouse, as parent, as children, etc are all covered well in Eph and Col.


Where is Our Confidence?

As we start the journey of a New Christian Life, our main concern is how we can live a life that is pleasing to God. Some older Christians are even worrying whether they can keep their faith with the increasing uncertainties and evil in the world.

It is best to get guidance from the Bible and especially from Paul. The book of Galatians (AD 49) was the earlier writing of Paul and 2 Timothy (AD 66) was his last. When Paul started his ministry, he motto for life is in Gal 2:20 as shown below:

The key for Christian Living is living by the faith of Christ in us. The mind map below shows an exposition of the verse.
By the end of his life, Paul gave the reason for his confidence and driving force behind his life of victories - overcoming all the sufferings in various forms he described in 2Cor 11:23-28. It is in 2Tim 1:12 shown below:

After 17 years of living in Christ, Paul used the word "oido" for know - to know completely. According to Vines 'The differences between ginosko and oida demand consideration:

  • ginosko, frequently suggests inception or progress in “knowledge,”
    while oida suggests fullness of “knowledge,” '.
Knowing Jesus Christ and then believing in Him and be fully persuaded and convinced that He is able to keep the work He has entrusted to us.

Our confidence is in our faithful Saviour - Jesus Christ to complete the work He has given to us. It is so simple - He give and He ensure our victory in life. Let us rest on the fact that He is our assurance that we will live up to His calling for us. We work from this sure foundation of victory and success.


Bible for Business Seminar#4 Personal Mission & Journey

#4 Your Personal Mission Statement & Life Journey
The following main points were discussed at yesterday meeting.
  • Identity of Man – Purpose of Creation of Man
  • Your Unique Calling – Discovery of
  • Your Life Journey – Importance of
  • Your Helps & Hindrances – The How of Victory
  • Your Rewards
Identity of Man
Eph 1:4-5 tells us Man is created to be Sons/Daughters of God through Jesus Christ to be Holy and Blameless(Righteous). God did not create many men to be his children. God begets us and want to father us as his children. The whole universe is created for His children(Us!) for our living.

Your Unique Calling – Discovery of
  • By Name & Direct Calling
    Abram Gen 12:1-3, Moses Exo 3:10, Paul Act 9:3-6
  • By placing an unquenchable desire in a heart
    Nehemiah ; Isaiah 6:8, ..Writer, Dancer, Musician, Businessman.
  • By arranging a clear path (Pray for Opportunities – Opened Doors)
    Daniel, Josiah 2 King 22
  • By preparing an attractive option
    Elisha by Elijah. Stephen as Deacon.
  • By your talents & gifts.
Our ability to hear requires a desire and devotion to God… spend time in His presence to recognize His voice from the noise. Calling is Progressive…need to get your feet wet first.
Your assignment may change but the calling is fixed. (Story of Joseph). Calling is the Key to Contentment in your vocation/business. Lots of Noises --- from family, friends, colleagues, commerce and community and you need to stay your path.

Your Life Journey – Importance of
The journey is important. Else, we all will go straight to heaven upon conversion.
In this journey, we can truly learn to experience the love and relationship with God.
No matter what, God is there for us, in joy and sorrows (2Co 1:4). Jesus is Lord.
Knowing more stimulates the desire to know more …. That is growing in love with Christ. Php 1:9, 3:10.

The How of Victory - The Unified Model of Transformation
This is an updated chart 1st appeared in Christian Transformation & Growth -The Unified Model.

Kent gave some very good illustrations. We can compare the above chart as driving a car - moving forward. But after a while, we find that we are not moving as forward as fast as we should. We then discovered that we did not release the handbrake - the load. Another picture is sailing a boat. We started off fine and then we just some how got stuck - unable to move forward any more. We then discover that we have not pull up the anchor. The anchor - the load, need to be lifted for the boat to go forward. The recommendation is that we use the resources given to move forward and when we find we are immobilized, we should examine the loads and resistances that are holding us back. We may need to seek counseling and healing before we can go forward again.

Work of Flesh vs Work of Faith
We also pointed out that some Grace-Based teachings ignore the journey to a destination and just want the final good outcomes. Some have mistakenly assume all effort is work of the flesh. Whether work is of the flesh or of faith depends on the underlying motivation. Below is table to show the differences.



Justify Self

Glorify God


Response of Faith, Obedience to God’s Calling


Grace-Empowered & Capability
(Greater Results)



About 23 people attended the seminar with overall rating of 84%. Below are some of the comments:
  • My identity is not defined by a vocation. My journey may take me through different vocations to arrive at destination. Personality and Environment is the key to contentment in our vocation. Why? Because I struggled for years with all that and tonight I am getting some clear directions.
  • Disover my calling through God's word
  • Examples of Joseph's Identity to know God's callings. Be-Do-Have (process) vs Have-Do-Be
  • Disover my calling.
  • Discernment between works of the flesh and faith driven works. Clear Dictinction.
    Content is clear.
  • Chart, map very good.
  • Use skills + knowledge to guide people of God in the market place; not so much spiritual talk but can somewhat relate Bible scriptures to work related or investments.
  • Christians Growth Chart. Summary of the Drive/Force.
  • Discover your own strength.
  • talk too fast, can slow down a little.
  • Many Gems in 1 hour. Some speaker has 1 gem in hour. The key is balance - some points need to elaborate.
  • I thought this was one of the best sessions yet. Everything that was shared was fresh insight and hence refreshing to learn.
  • The part about the importance of the journey also resonates with something that God taught me some years back about the fact that (borrowing from one of Singapore Airline’s marketing slogans) the “Journey is the Destination” and that our God is one who focuses so much more on who we BEcome (human BEINGS) rather than necessarily what we achieve ( not human DOings).
  • The clarification of the underlying motivation of work (flesh vs. faith) was important in qualifying the grace message very succinctly for me personally. Thanks!
  • The “How” of Victory was also fresh and instructional.
  • Have-Do-Be v.s Be-Do-Have was also insightful and follows on from the fact that while the devil works from the outside-in, God works opposite to that – from the inside-out.


The Lord's Word & Doctor's words

Do we give the Bible the same weight as our medical doctor's words?
We say we believe the Bible is the Word of God. It is the standard of our behavior. It's promises are true. It's commands are to be obey. Yet for many of us, when we felt God want us to do something, we want to decide first - whether we should do it or not.

However, when our medical doctor gives us a prescription and advices, we are quick to follow, knowing for sure that they are for our good.

Why is that so? Do we trust our God less than our medical doctor?
One reason I can give is that at times we are not sure whether is word is from God or not. We want to be sure it is from God. At times, even when we know it is from God, we are unable to see how to execute it. God will make it clear for us when we have the intention to follow Him. Taking time to make sure, seeking wisdom for execution are good for us to learn to hear God better. But we must make sure we don't treat God's Word less than our medical Doctor's.