The Lord convicted me about a kind of odd thing late last night. In the quiet hours when I was reviewing my family’s day, it occurred to me that I was the cause of some of today’s chaos. And for one simple reason. I don’t say “hello” well, I thought to myself.

I think I’m too busy for small talk and I get right down to the business of life. This is especially apparent at home where I am a wife and mother:

“Hey, did you remember your lunch box?”

“Hi, did you remember we have to meet the Horns at 6:00?”

Worst: “Good morning, you have one hour until we leave for school.”

It’s easy for a mom to fall into this rut. (I hope I’m not the only one.) Juggling the schedules of five family members gets crazy, but am I really getting the cooperation I want with my direct approach?

I had to ask myself that last night. It really cut me to the core when I read this, “Greet one another with a kiss of love.” That’s from I Peter 5:14. The Apostle Paul also admonished his disciples to be good greeters. Jesus even said we should speak kindly to our enemies. He said that pagans sometimes speak with greater kindness than followers of God, and that shouldn’t be the case. In fact, I have friends who claim to be atheists who are the most loving greeters. They just make me feel like I’m the only person in the world when I meet up with them.

I wonder how I make people feel? I think I know how I make my kids and husband feel … hurried, late, anxious. So in the darkness I wrote a promise in the form of a prayer. Lord, I want to change. I want people to love seeing me because I make them feel good.

My sleepiest morning child—who always hears how late she’ll be for school every day—just heard, “Good morning, I love you!”

My early riser got, “Wow! You look so beautiful today.” A good start.

Does anyone need to repent of being a bad greeter? Start today. Just say “hello” with a hearty smile and a promise to spread God’s love with a holy greeting!