Everyone Communicates, Few Connect

John Maxwell does it again. This time, it’s Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.

Leadership guru John Maxwell has offered countless numbers of books, messages, and resources over the years. Frankly, I never get tired of him.

In this latest installment of Maxwell wisdom, he focuses intently on how one communicates in order to connect effectively. Let’s face it. We’ve all been a part of situations where communication breaks down and chaos, disorder, or hurt feelings ensue. How often are we faced with situations where the message is not effectively communicated and people are left battered, confused, or worse?

Time and time again, Maxwell notes the simple and practical ways to communicate on a level that connects with people. It’s not just about speaking. It not just about words. It’s not just about what you say. It’s deeper. It’s how you say it. It’s how you stand. It’s how you get to know your audience before hand. As he notes, audiences believe 7% because of what you say, 38% because the way we say it, and 55% because of what they actually see. Further, people remember 85-90% of what they see, and only 15% of what they hear.

In Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, I can tell you that I am motivated to become a more effective communicator. In today’s world, where messages and information are at the tips of our fingers, to be an effective leader, you must be an effective communicator. I highly recommend this book.

Coram Deo

Coram Deo ~ Latin for Before the Face of God.

In fear of becoming legalistic (that is, making life all about what we can do to earn God’s favor), we steer away from this concept.

Coram Deo. “To liveĀ coram Deo is to live one’s entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God,” according to R.C. Sproul.

Sure, when we enter into a church building, life becomes about living coram Deo. When we are with Christian friends, life is lived coram Deo.

But what about when we are watching TV? Do we consider what programs we watch, mindlessly or proactively?

What about when we surf the internet? Are we considering our viewing and time spent as surfing before the “face of God?”

How about what clothes you wear? Do you truly think about how what you are wearing is literally before the face of God? Would you be comfortable standing before God with the clothes you are wearing?

I’ll be the FIRST to admit: I struggle with this concept for two reasons.

1. I fail a lot, live selfishly even more, and make decisions before MY face more than God’s.

2. It borderlines conservatism (in my definition) and legalism — two concepts I abhor under the Christian label.

How can we address this concept with people? It really comes from the heart. God always cares more about the internal, the heart, than the external, the appearance.

We can ask oursevles:

* Why are we attempting to live coram Deo? Is it for show, for appearance, for others? Or is it for God and for us working to become more and more holy, more and more like Jesus?

* Do I believe I am earning God’s favor by living coram Deo or am I simply being obedient? Am I doing this primarily for myself or primarily for God and other people to experience the Gospel truth more frequently?

“To live in the presence of God is to understand that whatever we are doing and wherever we are doing it, we are acting under the gaze of God. God is omnipresent. There is no place so remote that we can escape His penetrating gaze,” says R.C. Sproul.

We get so distracted, don’t we? We do things primarily for ourselves. We act on our wills. We make decisions based on what our face tells us.

Personally, I watch television mindlessly. MINDLESSLY. Hours upon hours. Is this living coram Deo? To sit for 4 or 5 hours in front of the TV absorbing Friends, The Office, and The Bachelor?

Take some time to think about living coram Deo. Whether you believe it or not, we are all living under the gaze of God.

Are you living with this awareness?