Friday, September 23, 2016

The Importance of Impression

Jan and I were invited to lunch by our friends, Tim and April Matteson who live in Reno, Nevada. They wanted us to meet Graham Cooke. At lunch we talked about many things. One story really stuck in my mind. When Graham is in his hometown each day he frequents a local coffee shop. Everyone who works there knows him on a first name basis. They love to see Graham come each morning because his presence shifts the environment of the coffee shop.

Graham said he tips well – really well. He does this because he wants each person who works in the restaurant to have a good impression of the God he serves. When Graham goes on a weeklong ministry trip he prepares 7 envelopes addressed to the coffee shop with his normal tip enclosed and mails it so the workers will get his daily tip even when he is gone. I was amazed at Graham’s level of commitment to the impression he leaves behind.

As believers we carry the presence of God wherever we go. Our actions advertise that presence. A cheap tip left for a waitress or a flippant and insensitive remark made in the heat of a passionate discussion can leave an impression contrary to the heart and intent of the One we carry. The impression our lives leave behind is an indicator of how well we understand the heart of God.

Today, go overboard in graciousness and kindness. Learn from Graham. Tip big. Thank well. Speak wise and kind words. Do these things not because you are trying to impress others. Do it because you are forever grateful for the amazing love you have been shown by One you carry.  Do it because you want others to experience what that love feels like.

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