In Luke 8: 26 – 39, Jesus encounters a “crazy” person. You know the type. They come at you hard with their needs, ideas, wants, perceptions, issues. Some of these people are actually demon-possessed like this guy living in the hills of Gerasenes that Jesus met. 

Jesus allowed the guy to go off and spew all his junk for a bit. In response, Jesus asked the most basic ice breaker question ever: “What’s your name?”

Translate this to your modern life. When confronted with people who are upset, different, “crazy,” stay calm. Don’t match their energy. Deescalate with even-keeled calm. Then ask an ice breaker question such as “What’s your name?” You could say something about the weather or ask for directions or an opinion on something mundane but relevant.

A more profound point within this story is that at all times, you are projecting who and what you are as well as your needs, desires, and fears through verbal and non-verbal cues. Learning to “read” others and be aware of your projections makes for a much more effective life.

Great salespeople know how to read you and then sell you what they have. The “mirror” you and “label” your emotions. These techniques soften you toward them and build trust. Today, there are fewer salespeople yet legions of Artificial Intelligence sensors. Your every word and move is curated and used to market to you. Unfortunately, they also manipulate and censor you as well. 

Those who have the power and authority of Christ read people and use that information to serve the people they encounter. Jesus always got real with people quickly. He went straight to the heart because he looked at people as individuals, all hurting in some way, all in need of what he had to offer.

When he met a prideful or judging “teacher of the law,” he spoke to those strongholds inside of them boldly with a rebuke. When he encountered a broken woman washing his feet with her tears, he spoke tenderly to her with reassurance.

Every person you meet needs to be addressed at the heart of what matters most to them. Most don’t want what’s in their heart to be seen. They believe it would be too hard to wash out the blackness in their hearts and mend the many tears in their soul. So, they tell you in various methods, like the people at Gerasenes told Jesus, to go away.

Worthy thoughts to remember:

  1. You are telling everyone you meet what you want, who you are, and how you feel. Be aware of it.
  2. Watch and listen for the messages coming from others. Ask their name, or those you already know, state simply the need they want acknowledged. For example, “Sounds like you are exhausted.”
  3. Demons (Satan’s messengers) are powerless against anyone who resists them (James 4:7). Don’t allow them to drag you into their games, ever.
  4. Use the information you get from people about their needs to serve them. Let this serving guide your business and recreation. Enjoy life to the fullest as Jesus intended (John 10:10).
Carla G. Harper - Author, Publisher, Speaker