Do not lift up your horn on high, do not speak with insolent pride. – Psalm 75:5
Recently in central Texas we enjoyed actual snow. Schools declared a snow day, and kids conquered whatever hills they could slide down. Some used storage tubs or float tubes, others cardboard boxes. A few had real sleds (a rare commodity here). It was a chance to experience fun they normally couldn’t. I saw the white fluffy stuff as an opportunity to have fun and practice shoe impression casting.
Shoe impression evidence is often overlooked. Casting, like the other CSI techniques, needs practice. In my locale, I normally cast in sand, dirt, or mud. A good impression might be the only evidence tying a suspect to a scene–to prove presence. A badly cast shoe impression equates to an ugly chunk of rock. It has no value. An observant police officer in Massachusetts recently took advantage of the large amount of snow in his jurisdiction. The story linked above relates how a license plate impression left in snow cracked several cases. Kudos to him!
Knowingly, or not, we leave impressions each day that can heavily affect those we meet. Forensic pioneer Edmond Locard stated that when two things come in contact with each, other evidence of that meeting will exist.
The snow, the impressions I cast, the officer’s efforts in Massachusetts, and a recent sermon at church led to this post.
I have been approached by Christians attempting to “share the Word”. I usually tell them I am a Christian myself and chat afterwards. Sometimes though I will just listen to hear how they present the message. If they present a faulty message or presentation I will try to gently correct them. As a new believer my experience was like a child having tasted the most wonderful new flavor of ice cream. I exclaimed how good it was, stuck my cone in their face, and asked them if they wanted a lick. In my fervor to share, I didn’t always communicate well.
My practice of letting the unneeded presentation carry on might seem mean but has altered how I speak with others. I know the truth the Bible conveys. However to someone who does not, a bad impression can affect their total view of Christianity. Sadly, I have walked away from encounters with well-meaning evangelists that left a very bad impression. Like a shoe cast, a good spiritual impression, is evidence that someone (Jesus) has been present in your life. This impression also makes a huge difference in the case we make about our faith. In an earlier blog post I wrote about speaking to non-believers about the Gospel. But I wanted to put forth a few reminders that I have seen “Christians” forget in this post. Christians need to remember:
- We cannot save anyone. The Gospel itself is enough to open a heart for the Holy Spirit to save.
- Our purpose (our work) in the process is to present the truth and defend our faith gently and honestly.
- Christ did not command anyone to follow man-made traditions, other believers, or the church. We are to follow Him.
- Our greatest works amount to no more than dirty rags. We are saved solely by what was done for us by God through Jesus Christ.
- We are no more than beggars telling other beggars where to find shelter and food.
- We should never speak down to anyone regardless of what sins they may display in their life. Because in truth your life isn’t so clean either.
- If Jesus Christ is not really in your life, you will be incapable of consistently remembering these. Pride will get in the way and you will think yourself as more than you are.
Leaving a good impression allows others to see the good effect Jesus Christ’s presence has in the lives of others. If He has stepped into your life His shoe prints will make the case. A bad impression leaves others thinking you are as confused as anybody else. People want to see something that works because there is plenty of failure to see everywhere.