The line is classic, iconic even. You may even have made it your life’s mantra. And since it was recited by Sean Connery, there is an aura of power behind it. Make sure you read it with that Scottish accent …
“Wanna get Capone? Here’s how you get him. He pulls a knife, you pull a gun, he sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way, and that’s how you get Capone.”
But is this the best way? It’s what we see in TV/Movies. It’s what we see in Washington. It’s plastered across Twitter and Facebook in our Social Media world. And you might even see it on playgrounds across America. Okay, maybe not the last one.
Connery was teaching the boy scout Costner, playing Elliot Ness, that he would have to change the way he did things if he wanted to accomplish his goals. And though it may make a great movie, even effective politics-diplomacy if you’re the one with the bigger stick, I do not believe it is the way we are to live as followers of Christ. Our teacher, not a Scot but a Jew from 2000 years ago (and our God from before time began) taught us a different way, a revolutionary way – a better way.
Turn the other cheek, go the second mile, pray for your enemies, bless those that persecute you.
This is easier typed than done.
This is not saying don’t defend yourself. Not about quiet passivity, especially if life threatening. But about having a mindset that doesn’t seek revenge, doesn’t retaliate, nor does it give evil a free hand. If I can suggest three principles from His revolutionary teaching, a concept I call living in the 2nd mile …
- Show mercy in opposition
- Show grace through difficulties
- Show love without limitations
We all may think we should respond with kindness to kindness. But to be a Christian is to live revolutionary. Show kindness to enemies, go the 2nd mile … live in that 2nd mile.
- To love your neighbor, that’s 1st mile
- To love your enemy, that’s 2nd mile
- To bless those who bless you, that’s 1st mile
- To bless those who curse you, that’s 2nd mile
- To pray for friends, that’s 1st mile
- To pray for those despiteful to you, that’s 2nd mile
And when we have a 2nd mile lifestyle, we are living like Him. People will notice. And He will get the attention, not us.
It may not be the Chicago Way, but it should be our way.
Want to dig a little deeper? Live in the Appomattox area? Join us this Sunday (10.27) as we look at this revolutionary teaching – at 11am.