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An online devotional for writers
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (1 Thessalonians 5:28, NLT)
A letter closing, also called a “complimentary close,” is the short phrase you use when you end a letter or email. It comes before your signature.
Best practice dictates that you choose a closing phrase that is suitable for your relationship with your reader. That means “Sincerely” or “Kind regards” for formal business interactions – and “Best” or “Cheers” when signing off on an informal email to a friend.
If you’ve not done so already, you may consider choosing a letter closing to use consistently.
Paul, the most famous letter writer in history, had a personal phrase he used to close every letter whether he was writing to a church or an individual: “May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you” (1 Thessalonians 5:28, NLT).
There were some variations:
Even in the letter to the Romans – one in which Paul takes a chapter and a half to say goodbye, -- he includes the phrase “May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you” a few sentences before the end (Romans 16:20).
Over and over, Paul’s key message was salvation by grace. It makes sense that he left that thought with readers at the conclusion of his letters.
And it makes sense for you to use a letter closing that reinforces your message.
Your letter closing can reinforce your message.
Over and over in scripture, you emphasize your messages of grace and truth. Help me clarify my platform. Let me use every opportunity – even in my letter closing – to reinforce it.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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