“Topical Storms”

This week’s article is a follow-up to last week’s on Emotional Intelligence (EI).  As I noted then, EI is currently and rightly popular among leaders seeking personal and organizational development.  For it 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.

I recommend reviewing these same Scripture’s passages from last week 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)


Tropical Storm Emily forms off Florida Gulf Coast; Warning Issued

“Topical Storms”, by Chaplain Jeff Dillard (1 August 2017)

The title of this week’s article is not a misspelling but a play on words and a follow-up to last week’s article on “Hidden Realities”.  In that article, you may remember that we considered the image of the ocean as a picture of the “a, b, c’s” from our spirit or psyche.  On the surface are our visible actions; underneath are our beliefs or, more specifically, our perceptions about our reality; and on the very bottom of our hearts are our “cares” or sunken treasures.  For what is most visible in our actions are, in fact, the ‘topics’ (foci) of what we value and believe about the circumstances of those treasures.

But you may have noticed that I didn’t mention our emotions.  What would a series on Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual Resilience be without addressing emotion?  For, in keeping with the metaphor, if our actions are on the surface of our deep spirit, emotions are the surface.  They are the waves between our beliefs and actions, hindering or helping our progress.  They are the calm or the calamity within us that enable or encumber our actions.  Consider some parallels with actual storms.

In reporting on Tropical Storm Emily earlier this week, Jon Erdman of the Weather Channel relayed a measure of mild caution to people in Florida. “While soil moisture isn’t anomalously high for this time of year, rain rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour are possible in the heaviest rainbands, capable of triggering flash flooding or, at the very least, widespread ponding of water on roads.  This is obviously a more widespread threat of heavy rain than you see on a typical afternoon of scattered thunderstorms in Florida’s wet season.  Little strengthening is expected once the system is over the Atlantic Ocean, and it should remain off the rest of the East Coast and not have any impacts beyond Florida.” (https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/tropical-storm-emily-florida-heavy-rain-forecast)

Unless Emily’s winds increase, the storm is not likely to bring significant damage – unless you’re an orange farmer or work in the tourist industry.  Either or both will likely suffer some measure of anxiety because of potential or actual loss to their income.  Such fears may motivate them toward additional safeguards for their crops or shops.  Monies they could have used for many things may now go to protecting their livelihood.  Again, although we might describe our emotions as merely physical sensations, they powerfully influence our actions because they are directly tied to what we treasure.

Why is it that one cross word from a loved one can haunt us forever, but a lengthy argument with an acquaintance can be dismissed in days?  Our emotions reveal our heart, hence the significance of Emotional Intelligence.  Although we cannot immediately know what a person believes or values, we can begin to gain some insight (intelligence) through their emotions … if we will watch, listen, and ask.


If you’d like to read other articles from this series on current events, you can click here.

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If you’d like to know more about who publishes the articles, videos, and other materials on tools4trenches, you can click on the picture of me and my wife.


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