By Jessica Brodie
As we go to press on the May edition, the word settling on my heart is “more.” It’s a word echoed throughout many of the articles and commentaries in this edition.
People want “more” information about General Conference and whether or why a church should or should not disaffiliate from the denomination.
There is “more” we can and should be doing to help people getting out of prison to transition successfully into a new and fruitful life.
There are “more” alternatives we should consider beyond the death penalty.
“More” can be done to dialogue with people struggling with mental health issues, and the “more” we do to listen and help, the “more” we can prevent suicide.
In her column, “Blemished Lambs” (Page 5), Rosalie Browning asks whether giving someone our gently used items is the best we can do, and whether we should be called to “more perfect” giving.
The word “more” has a few meanings. Merriam-Webster defines it as meaning “a greater quantity, number, or amount,” “something additional” and also “a person of higher rank.”
Sometimes, we don’t need more—more money, more material items, more stressors. We’re called to be content with what we have, to find joy in the midst of hardship and rest in the peace that comes from simplicity.
But other times, “more” is the answer.
In the Gospel of John, John the Baptist talks about how Jesus is the priority, not him. “He must become greater; I must become less,” John tells his followers in John 3:30 (NIV).
Similarly, in a letter to the early church, the apostle John urges people to test spirits to be sure they are of the Lord and not of the antichrist.
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood” (1 John 4:4-6).
My friends, it’s not always easy to discern when “more” is the answer. Wherever you are today, take a moment to pause and reflect on what God is calling you to do. You might discover you do need to do more in your path to become more like Christ.