First Impressions Count, But Be Prepared

1 Peter 3:15-16

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect.

My son, who is tall and muscular, grew quickly and stood somewhat slouched for a few of his teen years.  Now, a more mature college student, he has a more commanding presence.  He has gained the confidence to participate in adult conversations, look people in the eyes, and present himself with a more engaging presence.  As he interviews for summer internships, self-assurance has been helpful in representing himself well, providing him opportunities to apply his newfound knowledge gained from the studies and academic organizations at college.  Beyond the first impression he may convey, he absolutely must be able to give the hiring managers reason for choosing him.  He must be prepared to intelligently answer questions about himself, his talents and abilities, and the justification for why he would be an asset to the organization.

We Christians need to be aware that others with whom we come into contact in our daily lives are evaluating us not only as individuals, but also as Christians.  We represent Christianity by the way we present ourselves, the way we interact with others, and the way we show Christ’s love.  Pursuing sanctification, growing closer to Christ, and living by the Holy Spirit will help us to develop spiritual maturity and confidence in our faith.  We want to have on display that hope and love that is motivated by lives centered on Christ.  Ideally, we shine the light of our faith in a way that others see something special, something skeptics and nonbelievers may desire in their own lives.  First impressions, again, really do matter.  Importantly, just as is true for a job interview, we need to be prepared with answers.  Others may see that hope and joy in a Christian’s daily life and want to understand the source.  We must be ready to give a convincing explanation of Christ’s power and love in a way that is honest, engaging, and respectful.  In some cases, the discussion may lead to a justification of our faith, so be prepared with answers from the heart and the intellect.  Help others come to Christ by the way we represent Him.  We are not the ones to be chosen, but we are representing the One who is.

Dear Lord, please help me to be the best representation of You that I can be with Your help.  Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit to give me direction to guide my actions and words.  I especially pray for You to help me to be aware of opportunities to share the good news of Christ.  Help me glorify You by the way I engage with others in my life.  I pray for the impact of my life, guided by the Holy Spirit, to be such the others are motivated to be Christ followers.  Thank You for the peace and joy we have in Jesus.  I praise Your Holy name.  In Jesus’ name I pray.   Your will be done.  Amen. 


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