Numbers 1.17 NKJV
“Then Moses and Aaron took these men who had been mentioned by name,…”
It is always proper to mention a person by name in casual, group conversation if that person is there and participating in the discussion. To refer to a present party as “him” or “her,” “she” or “he” is rude. A failure to properly address a person by name is a subtle way of diminishing their value in the interaction.
God never does that. He “mentioned by name” those selected to lead the people of God. Those so “mentioned” had names you would not recognize or see in common usage today. Names like Elizur, Shelumiel and Nahshon. There was Nehanel, Eliab, Elishama, Gamaliel and Abidan; Ahiezer, Pagiel, Eliasaph and Ahira. They had strange-sounding names, but God “mentioned them by name” nonetheless.
Whenever I go to church I am greeted by many wonderful people. I see their smiles and hear them offer a friendly, “Hi Dave.” I am mentioned by name and it warms my heart. I feel doubly blessed when I am able to return the favor and respond, “Good morning John (or Betty, or Phil, or Herman, or Julie).” I sometimes resort to the generic “Hi brother” or “How are you my sister?” when I cannot recall their names (which happens more than I wish it did). But whenever possible, I address a person by their name.
I’ve heard it said that a person’s name is the sweetest sound in his or her universe. I hope to better cultivate the practice of remembering names and to say the names of people often in prayer and conversation. It is a loving thing to do.
In His first post-resurrection conversation, Jesus looked intently into the eyes of His most faithful follower and uttered only one word... “Mary” (John 20.16). Memorize this verse. It won’t be hard to remember. “Mary.” Say it out loud. Now exchange her name for yours. Close your eyes. Imagine to Jesus peering into your soul. He is full of love. He mentions you by name.