More. What an incredibly versatile word! Sometimes “more” is better, while other times we just can’t handle any “more”. For example, more M&Ms is WAY better than more pain or heartache, wouldn’t you agree? Sometimes the word “more” can offer up a challenge. I bet you have said the words, “I really need to exercise more.”
What does scripture say about “more”? Go with me for just a minute to 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12. Paul, the author of this letter, says to the church in Thessalonica:
“(9)Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. (10) And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, (11) and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you (12) so that your daily life may win respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”
Good grief, Paul, those are some pretty tall marching orders! Does my daily life win the respect of outsiders? Do I live my life in such a way that others see Jesus in me? I would love to shout out a resounding, “YES!” but all too often the answer is “NO”. There’s no need to be discouraged; though the directive seems hard, the answer is right there at the end of verse 10. Look at it again; it says “...do so more and more.”
Are you willing to take up Paul’s challenge and love MORE and MORE? When we are filled with love, it leaves no room for hate. In a world that seeks to divide and stir up discord, resolve to stand firm in your faith and love hard. I do believe more love is the secret to winning the respect of outsiders. Allow God to teach you, and then bust out your “more and more” on the rest of the world!