by | Jan 31, 2023 | Actions

We constantly impress others just as they impress us.  While we talk about the importance of first impressions, it is also true that we can think of lasting impressions.

Two other things that I don’t fully understand – time and memory – influence my thinking as I share these thoughts with you. I can’t comprehend God’s timing. It is certainly beyond my capability to know the full implications of that portion of our brains that give us memory. But I am glad for both. Let me share a personal example even as you may think of examples in your life.

In February, 1991 my sixth grandchild arrived. Matthew only lived for three days but he made an impression on me that I remember to this day. On his second day I visited him in the hospital and I can still feel his little hand tightly holding my finger. While he may have been thinking please help me with my troubled breathing, I choose to remember that he was responding “I love you, too” even as I was expressing my love for him.

Of course, Matthew made a big impression on his parents, but especially so on his three older brothers. For days they struggled with the realization that Matthew was no longer with them physically. A year later they still wanted to have a birthday party for Matthew. Eight years later a baby girl arrived in that family and soon she learned from her brothers about Matthew. To this day I say that I have twelve grandchildren although I only give presents to eleven.

Only three days alive, but these many years later Matthew is still making an impression.

Which takes me back to “time and memory”.  I don’t fully comprehend God’s timing which is so far beyond my comprehension. I am thankful for memory that allows me to remember Matthew’s impression on me.

I do know that you and I are constantly making an impression on others – for good or bad. I also know that the actions we take are guided by our thoughts. The Bible is full of helpful directions and the Holy Spirit guides us in finding these directions if we are in a right relationship with God through reconciliation with Jesus.

One of my favourite guides are the words written by Paul to Philippians: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  (Philippians 4:8 NIV)

It is true that our thoughts guide our actions. It is also true that our actions guide us as we make impressions – both positive and negative. How wonderful that our guidebook – the Bible – gives us specific directions on how we should think so that we can act and so make a good impression – now and in the future.

Prayer: Dear God, we are grateful that You have provided guidance as to how we should think, act and impress others. Help us to always follow in the ways of Jesus. In His name we pray. Amen

Vincent Walters
Toronto, Ontario, Canada