Sunday, September 18, 2016

First Impressions

Have you ever met someone and in your mind they are a jerk, rude, male-chauvinist, lazy or any other negative image in your mind? You might have walked away thinking, "That person is so_______ that I hope I never have to talk to them again." Then some time in the future you happen to see that person talking to your friend and they seem to be getting along famously. 

You inquire of your friend, after the other person has left the building, about such and such person and "I am not sure how you two are friends because when I met them they seemed so _____". 

Your friend says, "Oh, you don't know that person at all. They are not like that in the slightest, in fact, they are more opposite than that then they are like that. If you get to know them you will love them, they are one of my best friends."  Head scratch ensues. 

How did we get this first impression so wrong? Is it possible to get the wrong impression so wrong, especially when we might say "I'm a pretty good judge of character" or "I follow my gut because it's almost never wrong." and we never would have given them a second chance if it weren't for our friend?

I was thinking that sometimes, actually often, we get the wrong first impression about God too. We meet Him somewhere in life and are introduced by someone who has their own impression of God without really knowing Him. We base our future relationship with Him on the first meeting and decide He's not a friend I want to have because He is too ____. End of that relationship.

What if your/my impression of God is totally wrong? What if what we think God wants from us is something completely different than He really does want? 

You might think that God is this grumpy/strict/demanding father figure who just wants to tell us what to do all the time and what not to do. We get that impression because there are people who taught us in Sunday school who never really said that but they acted like that and that's the story we remember about how/who God is.

God does have a lot of rules and "not to do's" in the same way I have rules and "not to do's" for my grand kids. The reason for the rules is not so they won't enjoy life, rather it is so they will enjoy it because I know more than they do at this moment. I know that if they eat healthy right now they will feel better later. I want them to love ice-cream like I love ice-cream but not for breakfast, at least not everyday. 

What if the God in your mind was actually way more for you than you ever imagined? What if His goal for your life was you loving all the things He created for you instead of them all being off limits? What if His desire for you was even higher than your's was for you. Would that change your mind about who He is?

If you think that God is some kind of "Cosmic kill-joy", mean and grumpy, authoritative-just- to-be-that-way kind of God, I'd suggest getting to know Him better before you make your final decision.

God gives when we are not thankful. Seeks relationships when we are unfaithful jerks in return. Loves His creation more and better than His creation does. Seeks our highest and best when we don't. Hears and answers- and His answers are always for our good even though in the moment they may seem wrong. God is the best Father you and I will ever have and in order for us to know what He is really like we have to get to know Him better. 

What's your impression? Has it changed as you have gotten to know Him more? Please share.   

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