1 THESSALONIANS 5:28
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”
Paul ends all his letters mentioning grace. It was his typical closing in which he wished upon the reader grace from our Lord Jesus Christ. It was his way of saying “goodbye.” What better way than to wish God’s grace on someone. It blesses that person as they are finishing the letter.
Saying goodbye can be hard sometimes. It is especially hard if you think you will never see that person again on this side of eternity. I travel to Uganda and Kenya every year to train Pastors. I have gotten to be close friends with several of those Pastors in both countries. Sometimes our goodbyes can last quite a while. But I know I will see them on the “other side.”
Teach your children to think about these words of Paul when they say goodbye next time to someone. Teach them to bless others with more than just a few simple goodbyes. Teach them to lift up a prayer for them as they are saying goodbye. Teach them to ask the Lord’s blessing on them as they hug them.
Most importantly, teach your children to think eternally with each goodbye. Have them ask themselves, “Is this person going to be in heaven with me?” If they aren’t sure, they should ask them. Children can reach people sometimes that we adults could never get through to. When a little seven or eight-year-old asks you if you are going to heaven, most adults will answer them. They might get offended if we ask that, but not from a child. Your child could be your secret weapon, lol.
Let me encourage you to say goodbye differently next time. Use Paul’s words. Say to them, “May God bless you as we part with His grace and love.” You may get a raised eyebrow, but I bet they won’t soon forget those words.
Give me the words, O Lord, to say goodbye in a way that honors You and points others to You. May my goodbyes really be just “see you later.” See You later, Lord.