One day Peter and John were going up to the temple, and at the time of prayer at 3 in the afternoon a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate and which was called beautiful which was were he was put everyday to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter he asked them for money, Peter looked straight at him as did John, then Peter said “Look at us”. Acts 3:1
This man epitomized one of a couple of Greek words:
“Pincharos” which means someone who barely has his or her daily needs met “Pichatos” which is a beggar which is so poor they have nothing.
His physical disposition is one that was bent. He was so destitute that he had been depleted of his self esteem and self image.
Self Esteem and Self Image... two necessary parts of his spirit-man that would allow him to make eye contact with his benefactors. He bowed his head to the ground and extended his hand for alms. Peter noticed this humbling characteristic about this man and in three words began to minister healing to him. Those words were “Look at Us”!
Are you or someone that you have come in contact with spiritually and/or emotionally • depleted, • drained, • exhausted, • impoverished, • bankrupt • withdrawn
How can you tell? They can not make eye contact with you. They seemingly are embarrassed. They know they have a need and they come to you humbly submitting themselves. But as they come to you, do you take notice that they seemingly are not there?
As we read this scripture, notice how Peter responds. “I don’t want to give you something so that you can go away, I want to give you something so that you can live” Part of his healing process was to make eye contact.
Eye contact has weighty consequences in establishing, developing, and sustaining relationships. It is a significant form of nonverbal communication. Making eye contact or avoiding it, when introduced to a stranger sends immediate information about you to your acquaintance. Looking a person in the face, while acknowledging an introduction says... I think well of myself and I highly regard you also.
A healthy sense of self-worth makes for a likeable, respectable, employable, person. And make no mistake; a good self esteem is not the same as prideful egoism. Not at all, in fact the self confidence conveyed by direct eye contact puts you and others at ease, making you both comfortable.
On the other hand, failing to look a person in the eye makes everyone uncomfortable. Averting your eyes leaves a person guessing:
• Is this person shy? • Nervous? • Is he deceitful? • Does he have something to hide?
Or perhaps the person you are meeting will be left feeling insecure about herself and wonder: • Is there something he doesn’t like about me? • Am I unattractive? • Not worthy of his time or friendship?
You have absolutely no control of the information you may be sending with your lack of eye contact. Most likely the message is full of misinformation about you, or how you feel about them. This situation is unfortunate and completely avoidable. Just make eye contact, add a smile and word of greeting and you may have the start of a fulfilling relationship. Children are aware of how important eye contact is. A small child will reach for his mother’s face and draw her attention to his own face to tell her something. It is important to the child that he be heard. People, both children and adults, want attention when they speak. It assures them that you are listening with your ears if they can see you listening with your eyes. It’s your eyes that tell them they have your attention.
Your eyes give away your emotions. It’s hard to hide boredom, hurt, anger, or hopelessness when looking someone in the eye. Through eye contact you can share feelings that are too meaningful for words. Your sincere thoughts of love, pleasure, joy, or hope can almost be heard while you gaze at your friend without a word being spoken.
Initially, eye contact can lead you to a relationship. Good use of eye contact will help you to successfully cultivate a relationship. Appropriate and frequent eye contact can be just what you need to sustain a fulfilling relationship. And finally, eye contact is an important step to intimacy.
Now certainly this symptom of behavior is not 100% accurate in everyone. In some instances poor eye contact could be attributed to cultural differences.
In some cultures, looking people in the eye is assumed to indicate honesty and straightforwardness; in others it is seen as challenging and rude. Most people in Arab cultures share a great deal of eye contact and may regard too little as disrespectful. In English culture, a certain amount of eye contact is required, but too much makes many people uncomfortable. In South Asian and many other cultures direct eye contact is generally regarded as aggressive and rude. In some cultures and religious groups eye contact between men and women is seen as flirtatious or threatening. Men of these communities who do not make eye contact with women are not usually rude or evasive, but respectful.
Lack of eye contact could also be the result of an underlying neurological problem. Cortical visual impairment (CVI) is a form of visual impairment that is caused by a brain problem rather than an eye problem. One of the symptoms of people with this disorder is maintaining eye contact. The major causes of CVI are asphyxia, hypoxia (a lack of sufficient oxygen in the body’s blood cells), or ischemia (not enough blood supply to the brain), all of which may occur during the birth process; developmental brain defects; head injury, and infections of the central nervous system, such as meningitis and encephalitis.
That may be one of the reasons why Jesus taught us not to judge one another.
Judge not, that ye be not judged.For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Luke 7:1-2
Our opinions are just that, and no one but God is absolute in their judgments. It is important to note that we not assume that everyone may be like this bible character, or maybe this bible character may have had one of these other issues mentioned.
None of us really knows. One thing is clear, this was an opportunity to minister, and Peter and John seized the moment to serve.
These simple words “Look at Us” may have indeed helped to build his character, self esteem, and self image.
When they cast you down, and you say, ‘Exaltation will come !’ Then He will save the humble person . Job 22:29
“Look at us”, let me see the real you! Not the person that was made by your circumstance, but the person that was made in the image and likeness of God.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Genesis 1:26 (New International Version © 2010)
The word "image" is translated from the Hebrew tselem, and it means" shape, resemblance, figure, shadow." God tells us what our vision of ourselves should be. What His purpose is and where we are headed with our lives, and being what we are, we need to have some insight into who He is. So He tells us immediately that we are made in His image and His likeness.
How do you see yourself?
You have been made by God and because of that fact, you ought to see yourself beautiful, wonderful, and unique.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14 (New International Version © 2010)
You may have your head down like that beggar, but today I encourage you to lift it up.
Psalm 121 A song of ascents. 1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; 8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
You may feel disappointed and disgusted with the decisions you made that have led you to this place in your life. You may even feel that you’re at a dead end road with no place to turn. From your vantage point, everything around you is crumbling. But my friend that's because your looking down.
Today is a day to “Look Up”! There is something inside of you that is powerful, strong, passionate, and unquenchable. And when you make the step to “Look at us”, then we can see you for who you really are... A child of God! Our brother or sister that has so much potential that we stretch forth our hand to assist you up. Your perspective of yourself will change and you'll jump up and go forth in the fullness of your life.
He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. Acts 3:8
Now take a deep breath and say "I Can Do This" #icandothis