Lesson 1: Make Eye Contact

He Aint Scary, He’s Your Brother

If you are so timid that you find it hard to make eye contact with someone you don’t know then you are on the right lesson. If you walk with your eyes glued to the ground or mobile device, or, like me, you are rushing from point A to point B, you do not give yourself a chance to interact with people you don’t know. We cut ourselves off from enjoying all the other magnificent creations of God – namely people.

What the reason is for this timid behavior, I haven’t got a clue. The reasons why we rushing, are too preoccupied with texting, or why we are shy is not what this lesson is about. It is not designed to analyze your issues and fears or slow you down, but, like a bull in a china shop, this lesson will help you destroy all the things that keep you from staring right into the eyes of someone you don’t know.

Mental Excercise

What helps me in meeting people is understanding who we are – what our true self is, and where we come from. (Take time to read The Truth About Who We Are.) In John 1:1-5, specifically the third and fourth verse, it discusses our origin, which is the Truth about who we really are. The verses are not just applicable to you and I, our friends, the people we go to Church with, or our biological family, but all people. Those strangers who walk past you, the cop who pulls you over, the waitress who serves your dinner, the Muslim selling incense on the street, the Hindu worshiping many gods, the Buddhist hidden away in a temple… everyone. We all come from the same place… whether we like it or not. Biologically we may have a huge ancestral tree, but we are first generation souls created by God through Jesus. John 1:1-5 states, and with such authority,

1In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He existed in the beginning with God. 3God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. 4The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

This scripture is so powerful and moving that I could repeat that all day long. It is as good as any top ten songs on the music charts, and should get equally, or better yet, more air time than any song ever written. This is the song of our life… our beginnings. In verse 14, John reveals that the Word is Jesus when he wrote, “So the Word became human and made his home among us.” We are given this truth first hand from one of Jesus’ closest apostles. (When Jesus would go off from the other apostles, He would usually bring Peter, John and James).

The truth is everything and everyone was made through Jesus Christ, and nothing that exists and no one who ever lived in this world was created outside of Him. This includes people who crucified him, the person driving too slow in front of you, people who hate Christ today, atheists, agnostics… No one exists or existed without being created through Jesus. This is not just something to read once, but a concept to dwell upon until you have no issue raising your eyes to make eye contact with a complete and total stranger. You and he come from the same stock. What is amazing is that I may not know this person, but Jesus absolutely adores him or her.

Don’t you want to meet someone else just to see what God sees in this person. For me, I am very curious about a person I pass on the street. I remember that God made this person too. He gave that person a purpose, and He loves that person as much as He loves me. It is intriguing to know this person, and rather than judge him, try to focus on what God sees in this person.

Physical Exercise

O.K. That covers the mental side of this lesson, but now there is a physical side to it. We are not going to wait for this new found boldness to dwell within us. We are going to start staring people in the eye today. We are going to practice making eye contact with anyone and everyone we can. This will require two things: a commitment to taking time each day to not take any phone calls, no texting, nothing electronic, and no looking at the ground. Find a place where there are people. All you need to do is take a little walk, and while you walk make eye contact with people.

You may start off with one minute a day, and only make eye contact with one person, then the next day increase it to two minutes and two people. And so on and so on. While you walk think about John 1:1-5. Repeat it to yourself, if you can remember it, and just think about how it applies to life. If you cannot remember the verse, take the walk anyway. No excuses! You may have to start with just staring straight ahead. Eventually, you need to turn your gaze into another persons eyes and make eye contact.

Oooh… weird! That is just creepy. Not just for you, but for the other person who you made eye contact with. What is the purpose of prolonged gaze? To freak someone out? If you don’t want it to be weird then smile. It is perfectly normal to be happy and to give someone a smile. That’s right. Just grin or smile. You have every right to be. This is where dwelling upon your origin comes into play. Who couldn’t be happy thinking about the fact that Jesus created you!

The weather maybe another great reason to smile, even if it is freezing cold or raining, you still have a reason to smile. According to Paul, who was chained to two Roman guards while in prison in Rome when he wrote this, “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice” Philippians 4:4. If you live by that, then you have every reason to look someone in the eye and smile. They may not smile back, so just do a quick prayer for that person, and just keep smiling.

So, that is it for Lesson 1. Just make a plan to spend at least 1 minute a day practicing eye contact, but the next day push that to 2 minutes, and then the next day three. At some point your joy will consume you and you will be making eye contact with people all day long. God loves you. Show the world! Just smile and make eye contact.

About the School | About Don Carlson | Course Exercises

aBOUT THE EXERCISES | bREAKING DOWN BARRIERS | evangelizing & witnessing