Saturday, July 1, 2017

Emotional Intelligence and Faith

Well, I guess I’m still thinking about emotional intelligence and Christianity. My thoughts today led me to the idea that lack of emotional intelligence might have something to do with lack of faith.

In the workplace and in secular society, when people talk about someone having low or no emotional intelligence, they refer to people who are often impatient and get frustrated easily. It also applies to people who overreact and who have low levels of tolerance and empathy. They are not sensitive to the feelings of others and find it annoying when others expect them to know how they feel. They usually blame others for what goes wrong, particularly because they think they are always right.

As far as recommendations to increase emotional intelligence, secular thinkers say things like: “hit the pause button” and avoid having knee-jerk reactions when things don’t go your way. Pause and listen to others and to yourself. Choose wisely how to respond to situations. Practice empathy. Be humble.

The way I see it, all these advices could be summarized into one: Read the Bible!

For Christians, emotional intelligence is a matter of belief. We study God’s Word. We learn about His promises. We believe in the fact that Jesus gave it all for us. We know God loves us because He is love. We trust that He has a plan to benefit us and not to harm us… to give us a future and hope. We trust that we can do all things in Christ who gives us strength. We know that He is always with us, and that He walks with us even in the valleys of the shadows of death. We accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. And we know that He who begun a good work in us will complete it because all things work together for the good of those who trust in Him.

As we know, understand and believe the truth contained in the Word of God, we see our faith grow. We see our humility take a leading role. We see our empathy increase. We see the futility of demanding to be first, for we know that the kingdom of God belongs to the last, the mild and the lowly. We see our hearts fill up with love, the kind that gives it all in sacrifice to others as the Holy Spirit makes His fruits blossom in our souls.

I have lived a life in which emotions have often taken the wheel leaving nothing but the rubble of my neighbors’ feelings scattered all along the path behind… As a result of my lack of sensitivity, lack of self-control, impatience and above all, lack of faith and believe that God is in control, I have failed to be who I was designed to be. But I am finding out that the more I seek Him, the more I find His peace, and the more I realize I am nothing. The more I understand that it is not for what I do, but by what He has already done that I am a beloved child of God, saved and forgiven. Therefore, surrendering to Him is a most. It is not about me and what I do. It is about Him and who He is.

By releasing control, trusting Christ and having confidence that God’s plan for me is perfect even when I don’t understand, I grow in my faith… in a way, I get higher emotional intelligence. Perhaps, secularists will never admit to the fact that Christianity is the anchor that could bring the most effective emotional stability to those around them. But we know better. I mean, it is not that Christians have it all figured out and are perfect. Not at all! Exhibit A: insert picture of ME as an illustration of a failure…But we know that the road to emotional intelligence is none other than the road to sanctification, which is the road paved by the precious blood of Christ, open to us by the saving power of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Let’s just stay on that road, fed by the Bread of Life, guided by the Word that is the Lamp onto our feet, and strengthened by the Solid Rock, fitted in the Armor of God and robed in humility and love…one step at a time.

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