Is it a Christian’s duty to be “dumped on”? Surely there are times when we must recognize the need to say, “Enough!” Maybe you are in that kind of situation at this time.

If you’ve extra-miled it, and you’ve been giving not only your cloak but your whole wardrobe away, it’s time to stop and ask yourself how many extra miles you should go. Jesus doesn’t call us to be doormats, to simply lay down and allow people to run over us. And if you just let it continue, you’ll lose respect for yourself, others will lose respect for you, and eventually you’ll explode somewhere to someone inappropriately.

But as you think about your own particular situation, the first question you must honestly answer is “Did I go the first extra mile?” In this society, where we fight tooth and nail for our individual rights, being dumped on is not acceptable in any measure. But Matthew 5 teaches us this principle of doing more than is asked of us, more than others would say is necessary. Whatever form that extra mile takes, we’ve got to travel the extra mile first, before we take any other action.

For those of you who are extra-milers, I want to thank you and I want to encourage you not to quit. Address the out-of-control situations that exist—yes—but don’t crawl back into that shell of “I’ll just do what I have to and nothing more.”

There’s no question that it’s possible to go too many extra miles, to become a doormat and allow that treatment to make you bitter and angry. And with that attitude, it’s impossible to truly love and care about others and to share the love of Christ with the people in our worlds.

But we must remember that we are called to be servants, and sometimes that requires allowing others to “dump on us.” Jesus certainly practiced that principle, and he warned us that in this world we will suffer persecution. But be encouraged, he said, because he has overcome the world.