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Benefits of Knowing Names

Campers swimming

“What’s that guy’s name?” “Oh goodness! Let me think about it…it’ll come to me. Mark, Mike, something like that…” Sound familiar? Katie points us to Jesus’ example of calling someone by name and what it can lead to…

Scripture

When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly

Luke 19:5-6

Reflect

In a world with increasing exposure to new relationships, but ones that may only go as deep as being Facebook Friends, remembering names seems to be getting harder. Knowing someone’s name and remembering it can actually have a big impact on people as you begin relationships.

Just look at the story of Zaccheus in Luke 19! The very first word Jesus speaks to him is his name! “Zaccheus, hurry and come down…” and several verses later, we read that “salvation has come to this house.” (verse 9) The conversation begins with Jesus calling Zaccheus by name, followed by Zaccheus’ glad reception of Jesus.  Before the day is over, Zaccheus and his whole house have received salvation from Jesus.

Knowing someone’s name is the beginning of knowing them.  We enter in to relationships by introducing ourselves to one another, telling them our name. It is the first step in going deeper and sharing our lives with each other.  Imagine if Jesus couldn’t remember Zaccheus’ name, felt awkward about it all, and decided to keep walking!

We have an opportunity to influence the culture around us with this simple act of knowing and remembering someone’s name. Here are a few things to think about in regards to remembering names. 

  1. Names are important to God. After God created all the living things on this earth, one of the first assignments he had for Adam is to name all the creatures. God tells Moses His name at the burning bush.  God sometimes tells people what to name their children. We even see Him change people’s names occasionally. Our names are important to God.
  2. Names are important to us. Our name is part of how we define ourselves, how we identify ourselves, part of our unique make-up, part of our story. When someone remembers my name, it makes me feel valued and important, like I was worth remembering. And if they’ve forgotten my name, a simple “remind me of your name again…” is just fine too!
  3. Names are important to the gospel. Jesus calls us to share His love with others and the way He has designed for us to do this is through relationships. Knowing someone’s name may be the beginning of a relationship that changes someone’s forever! Remembering their name tells them they are worth knowing. What an incredible example of the God who knows us and offers us a relationship with Him!

So, remembering names is not an easy task, but there are plenty of “how-to’s” out there to help us out. Calling someone by name is an opportunity to impact people in avmeaningful way in a culture full of Social Media “Friends”.

Help model this for your kids by making an effort to remember names of people you meet and encouraging your kids to do the same.  Who knows if you’ll get to be a part of God bringing salvation to someone’s house!

Camper Corner

Read the story of Zaccheus in Luke 19.  Jesus calls him by name, and begins a relationship with him that changes Zaccheus’ life.  Who might you need to meet and begin a relationship with? Maybe God will use you to share His love with someone by reminding them that they are worth knowing!

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