Emotional Intelligence (EI) is one of the hottest and most helpful trends among leaders seeking personal and organizational development. EI addresses four key components: 1) self-awareness for 2) self-management and 3) empathy for 4) management of others (i.e., leadership). But, although God’s Word commends each of those components, EI does not address the biblical truth that each of them only lead to more self-focus unless God’s Spirit changes the person to love God more than themselves. Without the Lord’s gracious work in our hearts we will only use greater self-awareness for self-management for our own glory. Similarly, without Him rescuing us from selfish living, we will only use empathy for management of others to our personal gain. EI is crucial to know our own hearts and others but, by God’s work in us it must be to love Him supremely and to love others in ways that honor Christ Jesus.
The following are some of Scripture’s passages on the four components of Emotional Intelligence. Consider and discuss the principles and the article for this week.
- Self-awareness: “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” (Romans 12:3) and “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
- Self-management: “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” (Proverbs 25:28) and “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (2 Corinthians 9:24-27)
- Empathy: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12) and “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
- Management of Others: “The greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11) and “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive” (1 Timothy 3:2-4)
Meet the new giant sunfish that evaded scientists for centuries
“Hidden Realities”, by Chaplain Jeff Dillard (25 July 2017)
The newly discovered Hoodwinker sunfish or ‘Mola tecta’ (from the Latin meaning ‘hidden’) is the largest bony fish in the world, yet it seems to have remained undiscovered until recently. Lead author Marianne Myegaard of the Murdoch University in Australia states that “The process we had to go through to confirm its new species status included consulting publications from as far back as the 1500s, some of which also included descriptions of mermen and fantastical sea monsters. We retraced the steps of early naturalists and taxonomists to understand how such a large fish could have evaded discovery all this time. Overall we felt science had been repeatedly tricked by this cheeky species, which is why we named it the Hoodwinker.” The Hoodwinker sunfish can weigh up to two metric tonnes [sic] and can grow up to 2.5 meters (over eight feet), the team estimates. (https://news.mongabay.com/2017/07/new-species-of-giant-sunfish-discovered/) That’s a big fish.
“So what?” you may ask. What does a newly named sea creature have to do with you or me? That’s a fair question, especially if its natural habitat seems too far away for us to eat it – or for it to eat us.
It matters for two reasons. First, every living thing is part of the global ecosystem. Changes in the food chain affecting sea creatures will eventually affect land lubbers. Immediate impacts may be slow and small, but the more we know and care for the aggregate causes and effects in our physical world the better our current lives and future generations may be. Second, the ocean’s depth and hidden realities are powerful metaphors of our mind. How far each of us is willing and able to dive into our conscious and unconscious may be different, but all of us have a similar spiritual ecosystem: whether or not we discover a specific ‘Hoodwinker’, our hidden desires, perceptions, emotions, and related realities will feed each other. So the more we know and care for the causes and effects in our spiritual world, the better our individual lives and relationships may be. But, again, only as we know.
Think of yourself as deepening waters of a, b, c’s. On the surface are our actions. Others (and even we) may only know what we do, not necessarily why. The why is underneath in our waters of beliefs: perceptions about our reality that may or may not be true. E.g., “I have to cut my talk with this person because, if I’m late meeting with my boss, I will lose all credibility with them.” That may or may not be true, but the perception comes from our deepest waters of care: what we value. In the example above, I might care most about my boss’ opinion of me, my reputation in general, the lifestyle I enjoy enabled by my present salary, etc. But my sunken treasures will always bubble up into my behaviors.
The question is, which of my treasures are solid gold, unrefined gold, gold-plated or just fool’s gold?
If you’d like to read other articles from this series on current events, you can click here.