First Impressions

Yes, I wake up with my brain running a hundred miles per hour.

Man Without Shadow
It takes a moment to see what is really wrong with this picture!

This is probably why I cannot linger in the morning, rather, I must get up and get the day started. There is much to do, and too little time to accomplish the myriad of tasks.

Yet, why would I awake thinking about impressions people have made on me? Why should I care what kind of impressions I make on others?

It has ALWAYS been my “modus operandi” to accept people at face value and then let them prove to me who they truly are. Some gauge people by any number of ways, say, their hair color, smile, height, size, or even how they are dressed. What kind of car do you drive? How big is your house? In fact, a friend in a certain position says that he is always judged first by the shoes he wears – I seldom look at another persons shoes! I know some who look for the label of your clothes, the name of the school where you matriculated, or even how big your church or company is…

Of course, we know that any person wanting to fool others will understand how to robe themselves in such a way of acceptability that even a wise man will be fooled.

You know, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!”

Could that first impression be of someone nice, sweet, helpful – but their true nature is one of a viper, or a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

Definitely. I think this is proven out many times in moments of revealed tragedy when someone says, “I never thought they could be like this. No way. Never.” (They shake their head and the camera let’s you see their confusion.)

Another thing I’ve learned about myself is my personality of “second chances.” I am willing to give someone a chance, and really care little how many chances they have had previously. There is always a moment of change and improvement when someone simply needs a caring personality. This is so different from many people. Let them down once, and you are torn out of their contact database – never to talk to them, or consider them for anything in the future.

That’s not me. In fact, a better description might be like that story in Readers Digest many years ago.

A new teacher was assigned a class in inner city New York. It was a dangerous and dark place and practically every teacher knew it was a horrible assignment. Each teachers desk was surrounded by fencing to keep students out, and thrown objects from striking the teacher. Armed guards everywhere.
As the new teacher perused her roster, she noted an amazing column of information. She had some really brilliant kids in her class. Their IQ was way above normal. She immediately had the cage removed, and started the first day of class treating the students with high honor and respect. 
Of course, the students were surprised, and it was not but a few days and their attitudes changed. Their grades improved. Their decorum was actually enjoyable. They made good impressions on everyone around them.
When asked by the principle how a new teacher could change a class of die hard rejects the teacher replied, “Well, you gave me the cream of the crop. Their IQ is off the chart.” The principle was stymied. The roster HAD NO IQ score anywhere. When he asked for the roster, the new teacher whipped it out to prove her point. The principle studied the chart, and then chuckled, “Those are not IQ scores! That column is their assigned Locker Number.”

Perhaps this is a lesson for all of us. Assume the best, never expect the worst, and then act surprised when something negative is revealed.

No. No. No, someone says to me, “You know what A-S-S-U-M-E means, right?”

Still, the one thing you cannot change about First Impressions are the ways you are introduced into a new grouping after being included and feet on ground for less than 24 hours. “Tell that liar he’s going to hell!” I said to someone who related a lie told about me 11 years ago. To this day, I still do not know who told the lie, nor do I care. Neither do I hold the bearer of the news responsible. But the way I am introduced into a grouping sort of sets the stage for how I am accepted.

Now you are caught up in trying to prove the lie wrong, and you have to live down the First Impressions presented by the lie AND your reactions! And, it puts me into the mode of wondering if my choice made was a good choice. Here’s were your First Impressions gets a severe test – can you look past it to all the other players in the group and let them each prove their First Impressions to you? Well, can you?

There’s nothing you can do about what some says but prove the lie wrong. I hope my First Impressions perceived, nor revealed, has anything to do with my present day view of the world – but I will tell you that First Impressions revealed can change you…

If these first statistics of Jesus are correct, 1 in 12 is a devil!

Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? (John 6:70 KJV)

When you see the lists of the disciples in Matthew 10:2-4, Judas is at the bottom of the list!  (And Luke 6:16) Makes you wonder about that 12th man/woman around you, right?!

Let’s make sure it’s not about First Impressions, but Lasting Impressions. Okay?

Thank you…