From My Perspective - - -
As and when we meet people in life, some of us are haunted by earlier training and teaching that “first impressions are lasting impressions.” Another aspect to this thought is that one never gets a second chance to make a first impression. In this age of marketing, a first impression is tremendously important. A person with whom one meets will either have a positive impression or a negative one. If the first impression is negative, it may take the better part of a lifetime to recover from the initial first impression. All of us have met people where our response is determined by the first impression. There is an innate sense in terms of whether or not a person is genuine or more facade than reality.
Some people are the product of school of positive and possibility thinking, or the school of self-improvement. In the secular sphere, Dale Breckenridge Carnegie (1888 –1955) was an American Writer and lecturer and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. In his writings and lectures, he would say: “There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.” Linked with this, he shared: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” In the religious sphere, Norman Vincent Peale with his emphasis on, The Power of Positive Thinking, and Robert Schuller with his similar emphasis on Possibility Thinking, had an impact on generations of people who began to think less negatively about themselves. The major downside to this is that it was directed to the self-improvement concepts rather than to spiritual regeneration and renewal.
In terms of Imaging, Peale wrote (Book: Positive Imaging, 1987), “Imaging consists of vividly picturing in your conscious mind, a desired goal or objective, and holding that image until it sinks into your unconscious mind, where it releases great, untapped energies. There is a powerful and mysterious force in human nature that is capable of bringing about dramatic improvement in our lives. It is a kind of mental engineering. In imaging, one does not merely think about a hoped-for goal; one sees or visualizes it with tremendous intensity, reinforced by prayer. Imaging is a kind of laser beam of imagination…in which the desired goal of outcome is pictured so vividly by the conscious mind that the unconscious mind accepts it and is activated by it.” This type of teaching tends to bypass the body, soul and spirit guided and controlled by the Holy Spirit.
The Biblical teaching regarding Image Projection is considerably different from the secular, self-improvement (social engineering) concept and philosophy. The significant difference between the secular and self-improvement approach and the spiritual and Biblical approach is in terms of God and one’s focus upon Him. In Genesis 5:24, we read this simple and basic summary: “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” In Genesis 6:9 are these similar words of significance: “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” In Micah 6:6-8, the issue of what the Lord requires of a person is raised. The answer is: “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you…what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” How does one begin to learn and apply this lesson? Jesus stated in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me…Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” This is a starting point for the one desiring to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Being who God wants you to be and being where God wants you to be is more desirable than developing a self-determined image you think you need to project. Consider these things with me!