On the website for the Institute for Health and Human Potential (IHHP), I took their Emotional Intelligence (EQ) quiz. I was congratulated for having high emotional intelligence! Yea! The way my emotions fluctuate from day-to-day, and even hour-to-hour some days, I wonder how people manage with low EQ. Anyway, they gave me some good advice in the midst of my results:
Areas to work on: While you are doing well, don’t forget to take time
out of your busy day-to-day activities to stop and reflect on what
brings you the greatest meaning in your life. If we fail to do this on a
regular basis, we risk becoming tranquilized by the trivial, sedated by
the small details.
Here's the rub: What if what brings the greatest meaning to my life is in direct conflict with what brings the greatest meaning to your life? What if my wife derives great meaning from settling down in a small town and I derive great meaning from thriving in a big city? Oh, so my wife, then, ought to be the greatest meaning in my life so that there's never a question of the two of us being in conflict, right? What if her EQ is much different than mine and I start relating better with someone else? What then?
Because EQ is so closely related to key relationships, and our relational needs are God-given, I am a firm believer that our spirituality must be a key component to how we process our emotions. Because there is ONE Creator (work with me, here) then there is a certain, all-encompassing truth that each of us can subscribe to that will guarantee that my "great meaning in life" will dovetail beautifully with yours. Pete Scazzero, through his Emotionally Healthy Spirituality website and ministry, teaches and trains others to teach the truths that we start with a right relationship with our Creator and then take that relationship into working on our right relationships with others, starting with those closest to us.
From IHHP.com to 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to Dr. Phil, the truth of who we are, how we are made, and what makes us successful is deeply rooted in our Creator, whether these popular resources and people publically acknowledge it or not. Go ahead, take any good advice that "proven" or pop psychology promotes and compare it to what God says in the Bible. If it doesn't match, proceed with much caution, and if it matches, acknowledge the Inventor of that truth and run with it under God's guidance.
Back to the aforementioned rub. Read the last part of the IHHP website quote above. If we fail to, individually and together, reflect on our dependence on God and our need for salvation through Jesus Christ, "we risk becoming tranquilized by the trivial, sedated by the small details." Where we live, what we sacrifice for our spouse, and how we give of our time and resources truly becomes no big deal because we've reflected on and understand the big picture which God is already orchestrating.
EQ is important, but only as far as we are willing to process it in light of our relationship with God. Increasing EQ without God is like increasing IQ without thinking. Think about it.