People with disfigurements would probably rather not have strangers staring relentlessly at them. And many starers surely wish they could stop. But experts believe it’s a Herculean effort to control such gaping, because it’s triggered not by insensitivity but by instinct.
People become transfixed due to the work of the amygdala, a primitive part of the brain evolved to sort faces into “safe” or “potentially unsafe” categories. When the amygdala cannot process a face that doesn’t fit any it has previously encountered, it simply freezes like a computer unable to process a command. Scientists say that regaining composure requires serious conscious effort.
DeAnne Musolf, “How to Stop Yourself from Staring”, www.wired.com (June 17, 2009)
That’s what happens with sin in our lives. But in Christ our instincts have changed. The truth of the cross is what sets us free from “The Stare”. The stare at our sins or the world’s sins.
Every believer knows that Jesus died on the cross for their sins, but not every believer knows that they died too.
8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:8-11
His death included you and it changed you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
And, it is really Good News for the whole world! They “hear” this good news as you desire Life for them instead of the avoidance of sin.
Recently someone (not at Grace Life) confronted me with their belief that Jesus did not die for the sins of the world but for Christians only. But this is not the message of reconciliation that Paul preached.
16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:16-19
Because of one man the entire world had a sin problem, really a "Life" problem. But on the cross the whole world was delivered from that sin problem. Now we can look to living things instead of being continually focused what is no longer a problem but instead the evidence of death.
In our relationships sin loses its ability to draw our eyes, to grab our focus. Instead, Life becomes the single-minded end, His Life…Resurrection Life.
He is Risen, He is Risen, Indeed!