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  • Writer's pictureJill Jarrell Newsome

Saying Goodbye The Southern Way

I had seen a post about another state saying goodbye so I decided to make a few Southern changes. As I was working on this I was smiling as I pictured this whole scenario when we would leave my Granny’s. We would wave out the window and blow the horn til her body turned into a tiny dot and finally disappeared. Still, we even walk our Friday night friends to the car and wave til they pull away. It's just a southern thing! Here is how it goes:

“About to Leave” warning “We’ve gotta get going” statement Hugs Walking to the driveway One more conversation in the driveway More hugs Talking while everyone’s piling in the car Rolling down the window to say bye one last time as you pull out of the driveway. Right before you are out of sight, you blow the horn and everyone waves out of the window til out of sight!

It was especially hard for me to tell my daughter goodbye a while back. The world is in such unrest and she was going back to wildfires and the smoke was so bad she cannot go outside. I was just as worried as a mom can be. Before she left I had important things I wanted to tell her. Probably the most important of our two week visit! How much I love her. How much God loves her. How God will protect her. This week in my Bible study we were told, "when you are telling someone good-bye, the things that you say in your last moments together are important. You want them to be remembered."

Love was so important to Jesus that one of the last things He told His disciples, shortly before His arrest and crucifixion was John 13: 34-35. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” He challenged God's people to love one another. He loved all people. The Bible shows us He loved thieves, prostitutes, tax collectors, diseased people, poor people, children and His followers. He loved people who were devoted to Him and those who were different from Him. And He loved those who were not easy to love. 2000 years later and nothing has changed. Jesus loves everyone and expects us to love like Him.

It has always been hard to love "everyone" but we are commanded to. It seems it is even more difficult, today, when everyone posts their opinions and has no tolerance for anyone with a differing opinion. Romans 15:7, "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." Instead of trying to change that person, to fit our purpose, we should accept them. 1 Corinthians 13: 4, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." This verse touches on that pride thing! We do not have to win every argument or have the last word! Or post!

We are to treat others as one of God's children. Someone who is valuable. That is how Jesus loves. Philippians 2: 3-5, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

John 13: 34, "Love one another..." Jesus never said we would feel like we love all people. He knew better than that. But He did tell us to decide to love. He commanded us to love one another. Especially, during this time of uncertainty, we need to be practicing this. Make a decision to love, whether you are feeling it or not! When we do this, people who do not know Jesus will be attracted to what we have. As Pastor Tim said, “we can only reflect God if we know who He is.” And He is love. Deciding to love is kind of like the words to a song we used to sing in youth groups, "they will know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love." And God will multiply that love in us. 1 Thessalonians 3: 12, "May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you."


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