When you meet someone for the first time, what do you say about yourself, other than your name? If we just moved into the area, we might say where we live or where we’re working. If we’re in school, we might say what courses we’re taking or who our teachers are. It largely depends on the context around us, right? But the Lord Jesus tells us that the context around us, above us, below us, and (for His followers) in us is always to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. That requires us to listen for information about the Lord and the other person: what does it mean to love Him and them? His Word tells us about the Lord’s character, plans, commands, and promises. Similarly, we need to hear the other person’s words to understand who they are, too.
Consider the following discussion prompts and then this week’s article.
- When God created Eve for Adam and brought her to him, what does Adam’s comment about his wife in Genesis 2:23 say about his understanding of their relationship?
- Given the context of when God introduced Himself to Moses as “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” in Exodus 3:6, what were some of the specifics He communicating?
- How was the Centurion’s description of himself to Jesus in Matthew 8:5ff the fitting segue into Jesus’ response to honor his request? Elaborate from the passage?
- Read the surrounding context about Paul’s “letters of introduction” in 1 Corinthians 16:3. What were these men being appointed to do? Why was their a need for Paul to introduce them? How were the believers in Corinth to respond to them, and why?
- Read the book of James and discuss how individual groups were likely “introducing themselves” to each other. What were some of the results? How does James call them to think of themselves, each other, and the Lord God? Reference specific passages.
How Lotto multi-millionaire picked up with just two words
“Allow me to introduce myself”, by Chaplain Jeff Dillard (20 June 2017)
Here’s an effective pick-up line, if you’re a big Lotto winner: “Google me!” That’s how Gareth Bull introduced himself to Donna Desporte after coming into Euromillions in 2012 and separating from his wife, Catherine. And it worked…for a while. Corey Charlton reports that “(Bull) is now in a three-bedroom cottage 1.5 miles from the family home where Catherine still lives with their two teenage boys. Donna told the Sunday Mirror that Gareth tried to keep their fling secret amid fears Catherine might try to ‘use it against’ him. She said: ‘He was starting to worry about people knowing he was having an affair. That he might somehow lose money. But I told him: ‘Well, I’m not an affair’. He was worried it was going to cost him.’” (http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/dating/how-lotto-multimillionaire-picked-up-with-just-two-words/news-story/3357d6cdc6cd9bef8e8a5169c1915241).
Bull identified himself by his assets, but Desporte later resented being seen as an asset or liability. Sadly, most of us introduce ourselves by only one positive part of our lives: e.g., our assets, job, title, etc. That makes some sense. If we’ve been rewarded for certain parts of our lives over other parts, we tend to rely on those for our sense of belonging, appreciation, security, advancement, and more. But when we primarily introduce ourselves by only that fraction of ourselves, others form unbalanced expectations of us that will eventually disappoint them and us, too. So what are some of our options?
- Before introducing ourselves, we can learn more about the other person. When we meet someone for the first time, we’re usually trying to assess a potential of relationship: a social acquaintance, a job opportunity, an understanding of what it will mean to be neighbors, etc. So if the connection is going to be true and meaningful, it should be based on commonalities. Listen for some of those.
- After they describe a commonality, we can invite an emotional comment. g., “What’s that been like for you?” Any joy, anger, fear, or sadness may reflect one of their values. We can paraphrase the value we hear and ask for clarity. E.g., “Sounds like you really enjoy a challenge, is that right?”
- Then, depending one whether they affirm our understanding or clarify themselves, we can introduce a part of us that connects with that part of them. g., “Challenges make me nervous. I’d rather work in the background.” or “I take the lead at work so often, I just want to relax when I get home.”
The depth of connections will vary, but the best ones are based in the most truth about each other.
If you’d like to read other articles from this series on current events, you can click here.