As I sat at dinner chatting and laughing away with a friend of mine after a meal of peppered rice and barbecued chicken wings, my mind drifted back to when we first met, my immediate dismissive assertion and thinking it was not worth a second glance due to my physical and mental assessment.
I cannot recollect exactly what I had cancelled out but I think it had to do with the way he spoke and some other not so important assessment. lol
But after a gentle nudge from the Holy Spirit who kept reminding me to look beyond what I see, it felt like a great burden for me to retrace my steps until I had to give it another chance and reach out to the person.
As it turns out, my assertions were wrong as not only did we turn out great friends but we have shared pleasant experiences. All this would have been lost if I walked by my first impression.
What is a first impression?
It is the mental and psychological image we form about a person on the first encounter.
Our first impression of a person is based on a number of factors, of which physical outlook comes first closely followed by their attitude and how they made us feel.
One thing we must understand is, you can meet someone on a day the person is having a bad day, they act rude towards you and automatically, the person becomes labelled as rude.
Wait a moment, I am not justifying people going about transferring aggression on others but things are not always as they seem.
You can also meet a person on a day they are feeling joyful and on top of the world which propels them to act extremely sweet and kind towards you and boom, you now think they are nice.
Our impressions of people can be biased based on beliefs and prejudices we hold. We always see others and judge them through the lens of perfect behaviour meter we set up in our head and as a result of this, the First impression can distort reality and present a false picture to us.
Samuel had thought the first son of Jesse would make the best king of Israel as he had judged him based on the criteria he mentally thought was suitable for a king. Here was this tall, strong-looking gentleman. This was certainly the man God sent me to anoint. But God said,
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7 NLT
As nice as it may sound to leave good first impressions, it is necessarily not the yardstick to determine whether or not a person is good or bad. I am saying this so you are not in a haste to write people off. Give a second chance and most importantly, ask the Holy Spirit for discernment so you don’t exchange your diamond for stones. Place more value and look out for substance and this cannot be discovered in just a couple minutes encounter.
Some people are very good at putting up a facade and can only take it down when they feel at ease with you and this will likely not happen at the first meeting.
Personally, I am learning to allow the Holy Spirit to point me in the right direction. I am learning to do away with any prejudices and biases that may impact my first impressions.
Our past experiences can also influence how we judge people we meet in future. It would cause us to form stereotypes and categorize everyone we meet who displays one or two similar traits under the stereotypes.
Other times our perceptions have to change before we can see people differently or as they really are. For Peter, people saw a fisherman, but Jesus saw an Apostle who will do wonders in the kingdom of God. Some persons may not like wearing makeup and judge everyone who wears makeup as bad only because it doesn’t appeal to them.
It is crazy we desire others to conform to a way we feel is appropriate in our minds before we can accept them.
Look at Jesus, He had zero tolerance for sin but was very accommodating of those who were socially rejected and condemned, always looked beyond what people have done to what they can do after an encounter with Him.
In essence, I am saying
The people you have written off, unwilling to be friends or do business with due to a bad taste impression left in your mouth the first time of meeting them. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern between good and bad and He will help you. Don’t be quick to judge others harshly.
l leave with this:-
“He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay.”
Isaiah 11:3 NLT
You are Loved💜💙💚
Do you have any story of bad first impressions? Please share with us below.
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.”
Psalms 37:4 NLT
I wish you beautiful moments with God this weekend!