Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Series: “Cleaning House”
First Impressions are important! They can make or break any future interaction. There’s a statistic that says home-buyers know within 8 to 12 seconds if a house feels right for them. Information is received through the senses and an emotional bond can form, or not, in that short of a time frame. Needless to say, presentation and curb appeal are paramount when selling a home.
It’s mind-blowing that buyers decide so quickly if they want to pursue a house. No completed showing appointment. No inspections. No appraisal. They may not have even opened the door and stepped over the threshold. Yet, that first impression has already affected the buyers emotionally and established their opinion of the home.
How much more important are the first impressions we offer of ourselves to others as Christ-followers? Are we approachable? Welcoming? Inviting? What opinions do people form about us after 8 to 12 seconds?
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:9 (NIV):
For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
Imagine what God’s field looks like, clothed in beautiful blooms and fragrant air. Think of how God’s building looks in all of its grandeur. That is YOU! All who believe are clothed in His beauty and fortified in His majesty. Each person is created in His image and is to be a display of His glory.
Paul understood this and encouraged the Church at Corinth as he worshiped and gave thanks to God. In 2 Corinthians 2:14 (HCSB), he wrote:
Thanks be to God, who always puts us on display in Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.
Christians are to be an example and a demonstration of Jesus. They are carriers of His presence in every place they go because He is always with them. He promises to never leave them or forsake them. The fragrant aroma of Him—the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of peace, the Lamb of God—dwells in every believer and spreads through them into the earth.
Jesus, in His Sermon on the Mount, encouraged those listening, saying:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV)
We are not to hide the Light of Christ, but allow His light to shine so that it is evident to all others so that they may glorify our God as well. First impressions are so important. We have an opportunity within seconds to attract others to the Kingdom of God or to turn them off completely.
Are there some landscaping projects you need to tackle? Some seeds to plant and sod to lay? Maybe it’s painting the front door. Perhaps the trees need trimming, the gutters cleaned, and the air conditioner hosed down. Of course, those all pertain to our physical homes. What about our spiritual houses? Where do we need to allow God full access to help us with some improvements?
The cleanup can’t only be on the outside. There’s always work to be done on the inside, too. The outside should be a transparent and true picture of what is also on the inside. Tending only to exterior projects to draw people in—whether into the Kingdom of God or into your home—will cause great disappointment if the exterior improvements contradict the interior.
The surprise inside should be the clincher! But the key is to get others in the door. This week, let’s look at how we present ourselves in those first impression moments. Let’s communicate kindness, acceptance, and warm welcomes. Let’s choose to create an attractive presentation and leave the Light on. After all, curb appeal matters. Let the transformation begin, from the inside out!
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Romans 12:2, 15:7; 1 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 2:14; Genesis 1:26-31; Isaiah 43:7; Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 5:14-16; John 1:1-18, 8:12