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16 Sep '13

Emotional Intelligence and the Holy Spirit

Posted by T.J. Addington in emotional intelligence (EQ)
Daniel Goleman (a great author on this subject) did not invent EQ - God did. Emotional intelligence is all about managing our emotions so that they do not get us into trouble and allow us to keep healthy relationships. 

In that light, the Fruit of the Spirit, for instance takes on new meaning. "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control." All of these would be considered good EQ! The acts of the lower nature (Galatians 5) would be considered bad EQ: fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy..and the like.

Think of some of the admonitions of Ephesians in this regard:

  • Be completely humble and gentle
  • be patient, bearing with one another in love
  • Make every effort to keep the bond of peace
  • put off falsehood and speak truth fully
  • Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry
  • Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs
  • get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander along with every form of malice.
  • Be kind and compassionate
  • Forgive one another
All of these behaviors are pleasing to God and all are signs of good emotional intelligence as we manage our emotions and reactions in ways that are productive rather than unproductive.

So think about this: Christ followers above all should have some of the best cultivated EQ because for us it is both a matter of obedience to Jesus and we have the Holy Spirit to help us make it a reality in our everyday experience. 

Good EQ is not a secular concept but a deeply biblical one. Growing our EQ is part of growing into who God designed us to be through His Holy Spirit. As a student of EQ in the secular literature and the Scriptures I am constantly reminded that EQ is a deeply biblical principle.