Your eyes communicate what is going on in your heart. Jesus said it this way: “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22)
Our eyes don’t just see what is going on around us. They also interpret what is happening. If your heart is compassionate, sensitive and full of grace, you will interpret what you see with hope and acceptance. If, however, your heart is suspicious and fearful, you will interpret what you see with disdain or unnecessary caution. As a result, your friends quickly pick up clues and reach conclusions about your intentions before you even say a word.
The Stare Down
We’ve all experienced it. In kids, it is comical. “He’s looking at me!” “She’s staring at me and won’t stop. Tell her to stop.” With adults, it sets the atmosphere for our interactions … and can sometimes lead to disagreements.
Two major league baseball players have defined their relationship by the way they look at each other. Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants and Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers have a long history of rubbing each other the wrong way, and have amused crowds with their tense interchanges. Their most famous altercation may have come during a 7th inning ground ball which was fielded by Bumgarner. He threw Puig out at first base, and then the fun began. After the play, the two combatants fixed their eyes on each other from a distance. After a brief exchange of words, both benches cleared to prevent more than just a stare down.
When asked about the incident, Puig said, “I just ran, and he was looking in my direction. He asked why I was looking at him, and then I asked him why he was looking at me.” That was all it took for several dozen grown men to enter a skirmish. The occasion was highlighted the next day as several Dodger players donned blue T-shirts with bold white letters announcing #dontlookatme.
Light In Your Eyes
In similar fashion, your eyes can create a positive atmosphere. Proverbs 15:30 states, “Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.”
Pam and I recently stopped by to see some good friends while we were on a road trip. We hadn’t seen them face to face for a couple of years, and we were looking forward to our time together. We were delayed, however, so we didn’t arrive until late at night. Much to our surprise, they were wide awake and their eyes were full of energy. Even though we were tired from a long drive, we instantly felt better just being around them. There was no doubt they were glad to see us because it was obvious in their eyes.
The look in your eyes can draw people to you or stir them up. It can put others at ease or make them self-conscious. The more intentional you are when communicating with your eyes, the more successful you will be at sharing what you think and feel.
To help your eyes say the same thing as your heart, try the following:
- Memorize Matthew 6:22: “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.”
- Look in the mirror and practice making different expressions with your eyes.
- With each expression, ask yourself, “If I saw someone look at me like this, what would I think this person is feeling? Thinking?”
- When you greet your friends this week, say “Hello” with your eyes first.
The way we act is just as important as what we say, so make sure your eyes are reflecting your heart’s true feelings to your friends.
You may also be interested in The Power of Greeting Friends: 3 Ways To Give A Warm Welcome