None of us always make a good first impression. Sometimes we give a bad first impression intentionally, and sometimes we don’t even realize it’s being done.
Have you ever gotten the wrong first impression about someone? Those odds are about as good as someone else getting the wrong first impression about us!
What made you change your mind about them? Wasn’t it time? Was it not keeping that first impression from being the last impression?
This may be a completely subjective thought, but I think lasting impressions can be more important first impressions. Why’s that? It’s because people tend to be influenced over time and not instantaneously. Influence takes time and time leaves lasting impressions.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay attention to first impressions as God’s people. I’ve worked with the public since I was a teenager, and I know it’s much easier to keep a door open than it is to try to get someone to open that door. That’s why when it comes to first impressions God’s people are encouraged to:
“Be wise in your behaviour to those who are outside, making good use of the time. Let your talk be with grace, mixed with salt, so that you may be able to give an answer to everyone.” (Colossians 4:5-6 – BBE)
But we all know we make mistakes, and we all know that despite the fact that we’re not very flexible we still somehow manage to insert our foot all the way up into our mouth. That’s why we should remember the value of a lasting impression.
We never know when five minutes, five days, five months or five years may turn into an opportunity that can change a life for an eternity. And that’s an impression that I’d call lasting!
“For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.” (Romans 14:7 – NKJV)