Making an impression

It’s been a busy week of interviews at the library. With a couple of positions open, I’ve interviewed about eight different people. When I say different, I mean different, unique, interesting.

You learn a lot about human nature when you ask the same question to more than one person. Each one brings their own background, education, world view and perspective to a seemingly simple point. Just like sitting in the airport, interviews are fascinating opportunities to study humans.

By the end of each interview, I look at my partner and ask, “so what did you think?” There comes another twist to the process — two different people can read the same person in entirely different ways.

Ultimately, it comes down to the impression the person leaves. Did they answer the questions thoroughly or in accordance with our needs? Did they know what they were talking about? Where they prepared? Did they smile or where they nervous? Where there any disturbing habits that came out as they spoke or while they were silent?

Whether we like it or not, we’re all being judged by our fellow human beings. Even if it’s not an interview, what we do, how we live, what we say all leave an impression on others.

The great leaders of the world are memorialized with artistic impressions, whether in paintings or statues, but these static remembrances are not the true impressions left behind. They are remembered in history by their character, their vile acts, quality leadership skills, or simple care for others.

What impression are you making in this world?

Are you seeking to leave behind an impression of yourself or of the one you serve?

Oswald Chambers wrote: “The saint who is intimate with Jesus will never leave impressions of himself, but only the impression that Jesus is having unhindered way; because the last abyss of his nature has been satisfied by Jesus. The only impression left by such a life is that of a strong calm sanity that Our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him.”*

When I reflect on this, I am reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:20.

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

I’m not in this world to leave an impression of myself, but to make one for Jesus. When I live through the storms of life with a strong, calm sanity, people ask why. I can only say it is by allowing Christ to have his way with me. Ultimately, I want people to remember me only as a woman who knew Jesus. I must decrease that he will increase.

So, the question for you today is not what impression are you making, but whose impression are you leaving?

Grace and Peace

*Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest. Dodd, Mead & Company, Inc, 1935.

 


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