The past two weeks I have blogged about the power of Emotional Intelligence, the importance of self-awareness in our life, and going “into the pantry” or into solitude with our Lord to allow ourselves the space for him to reveal ourselves to ourselves.
Looking at Emotional Intelligence through a biblical lens makes it so much simpler. The four aspects of Emotional Intelligence of Self-Awareness, Other Awareness, Self-Management, and Relationship Management are really no more than humility of self, love of others, demonstrating fruits of the spirit, and servant leadership.
As you can see by the arrows above, our Self-Awareness influences all of the other aspects. Who we are in God is the cornerstone of how we interact, love, and lead.
In our daily struggles with relationships and leadership in all contexts of life, we tend to want a quick fix. We go for the “flavor of the month” book or new “self-help” concept that will surely change the way we act and lead. But God is not a God of quick fixes. He patiently gives us insight into who we are through our relationship with him and our relationship with others in community.
Knowing ourselves, loving others, possessing the fruits of the spirit, and leading/influencing others with a servant’s heart all require both solitude and community. They are the ingredients for us to discover who we are, and who others are, and give us the ability to navigate the waters of life and work. Any behavior change first starts with self-awareness. Then observation and reflection (solitude), accountability and support (community), are needed as you begin to practice ways of relating and leading.
We need people we can take our masks off with and be real. Who do you have in your life that helps create a space for you to share your struggles and your reflections about your own growth? Jesus could have healed and preached and saved without his disciples, or could have picked just John to come along with him. But he modeled the importance of true, authentic community by forming this group for the journey.
Discovery is difficult. Changing years of habits and behaviors sometimes seems insurmountable. But God is a redeeming and transforming God, and has given you gifts of solitude and community. Who is walking with you on your journey to wholeness?