Looking People In The Eye

After writing this article, containing an observation by Neuroscientist Gary Small regarding the function of our brain as we interact with others, this article also stimulated my thinking, especially after I read the author's opening two paragraphs:

"Eye contact plays a crucial role when people initiate interaction with other people. If people look each other in the eye, they automatically send a signal that their attention is focused on the other person. If the other person happens to look back, the two will be in eye contact, and a channel for interaction is opened. Eye contact is thus a powerful social signal, which is known to increase our physiological arousal.

Previous research has suggested that eye contact triggers patterns of brain activity associated with approach motivation, whereas seeing another person with his or her gaze averted triggers brain activity associated with avoidance motivation. This indicates that another person's attention is something important and desirable. However, many people find it discomforting and may even experience high levels of anxiety when they are the focus of someone's gaze."

Beloved, the need for direct eye contact between two people cannot be overemphasized (Acts 13:9 NLT), especially when we are attempting to teach the saving gospel of Christ to an individual. Direct eye contact tells the person we are teaching, that we are sincerely concerned about the spiritual state of their soul. The powerful word of God will do the rest in convicting and converting their soul (Romans 1:16; Acts 2:36-37; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:26-39).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets