English Standard Version (ESV)
From a young age, we're taught to be kind to one another, and rightly so, because our words can leave legacies. I'm willing to bet that most of us can remember specific things that were said about us when we were children, be they good or bad. For some, we carry memories of mean or rude things said to us for decades -- how much would you have preferred to just have been kicked than to constantly replay something said to you as a child?
The flip side of this is that your words have tremendous power to influence for good as well. A kind word, spoken in love or grace, can stay with someone. For some reason, the kind words have a harder time cutting through the noise, but speak them, friends, for the world is in dire need of more kindness. Especially now, as we are surrounded by such continuous dire news -- speak kindness, over and over again. Remind your friends that they are gifts, and tell your family that you love them. Be kind, be gracious, and may we transform this dark time into a period of hope.
And never forget the words that God has spoken over you. You have been claimed in the waters of baptism and sealed as Christ's own forever. A word of grace has defined your eternity, so hold your head high, you child of the king, and know that you have been spoken to in love by the One who lives and reigns in power.