Hot Topics: Self-Harm and Greetings

John 13

I find a ritual we have to be exceedingly sad, the common greeting. “Hi, how are you? Fine, how are you? Fine.” Neither person wants to know how the other really is. Neither wants to express how they are with any truth. It is a ritual that often completely lacks any meaning. Worse, it is a ritual that intentionally stands as a wall between any real interaction. We don’t want to know how the other is nor do we want someone else to know how we really are. The ritual is there to “protect” but all it does is isolate.

It is a ritual that needs to be broken in the Body of Christ. It stands in the way of hearing when others are hurting. It stands in the way of us expressing how we feel. When we great one another when we gather together in the name of the Lord, our greetings must be intentional; to invite Jesus into our relationship with the other person, greeting with love and the desire to know really how the other person is, how we might join with that person in their battles. We don’t know what struggles another has but when we invite Christ to be in all our conversations, the Holy Spirit can lead us into a very meaningful relationship that could change, even save lives.

If we are intentional in our greeting, something amazing can happen, God will touch lives, God will change lives. We could find ourselves “greeting” only one person the whole day because they needed God’s love in their lives as it flows out of our greeting. Maybe our greeting needs to be more like “Hi. How is God working in your life right now? How may I be there for you?” How is God working in your life? Let’s be intentional, let’s move.


Consider how you might phrase your greeting to indicate your love for the person, that you care and you are there for them.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. -John 13:34-35