Recently at church, during our meet & greet time, one of our members introduced me to someone she had brought with her. The lady was very sweet but laughed as she told me she was made to come! She then added that she was glad too. I commented back that sometimes we have to literally pick people up and not give them a choice because we know what’s on the other side.
The scriptures have a word for this: it’s compel. It means to force or drive (to a certain course of action). Another word with a similar meaning is driven, which describes a person being under compulsion, as to succeed or excel.
In the Book of Luke, Jesus told the parable about the Great Supper and the excuses people gave not to come. And then He said, “Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled'” (Luke 14:23). God wants to fill His kingdom with believers, but unfortunately there will be those who think little of the things of God and won’t enter in. But Jesus told this parable so we would understand sometimes you will have to “compel” people to come.
In other words, don’t give up so easily on people. Sometimes they just don’t know what they are missing. Like the lady I met, she admitted she was made to come, but was glad in the end.
In another place, Jesus used this word again, but in a slightly different manner. He said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away” (Matthew 5:38-42).
The tables are turned here.
This time Jesus insinuated that there will be occasions when the unbeliever compels you. The point here is not to be led into sin, or away from God, but to literally be willing to go the extra mile with someone in order to prove your love and genuineness.
And I’ll add that I believe the hidden message here too is, who’s your source? If you trust God as much as you say you do (or your bumper sticker says you do) then what are you worried about? Give to others and trust God. If they seem to “force or drive you to a certain course of action,” see it as a test. God is watching. As long as your loyalty remains with Him and your moral standards aren’t jeopardized, go the second mile.
The goal in either of these is to win souls. So I compel you… get out there and introduce others to a life in Christ!