Emotional intelligence (EI) came to popular success in the mid 90‘s, but some say its roots go back to Charles Darwin. It is now considered a workplace skill.
A company called TalentSmart tested emotional intelligence alongside 33 other important workplace skills and discovered that emotional intelligence is the most powerful predictor of performance and can explain 58% of success in all types of jobs.
So, some Christian leaders are latching onto it today as a way to help achieve more positive results in oneself, others, and in groups. EI specialists can teach how to manage behavior, identify, assess, and control the emotions even of congregations.
Shall we muse for moment? How might some people in the Bible have benefitted from the EI psychological model to bring success in dealing with their environmental demands and pressures? Would they have enjoyed better results in their relationships had this teaching been available to them?
A few examples:
Isaac. Could Isaac have managed his own family better with a little training in EI? With a little tutoring he might have given his blessing to Esau, his first born son. Instead he misread the situation and gave the blessing to the wrong son, Jacob.
Moses. Could he have used more EI? Moses might have changed or averted so many negative experiences in his leadership. He could have avoided the discomfort of his own sister, Miriam, and his right hand man, Aaron, turning against him. Moses’s life in the desert might have been better, more successful. With higher EI, would he not have had at least a “58%” better chance of more success?
David. David’s closest friend, Ahithophel, whom he trusted most, who shared his bread, betrayed David (Psalm 41:9). That brought so much anguish to David and his family. Could higher EI have saved him all that trouble?
Jeremiah. This prophet cried so much that he ran out of tears, and yet he still wished his head were a spring of water so he could cry more (Jer. 9:1). Does that sound, to you, like a person with tip-top emotional intelligence?
Paul. Alexander the metalworker did to Paul “a great deal of harm” (2 Tim. 4:14). With more emotional intelligence, could Paul have avoided that relationship altogether?
Timothy. Right under Tim’s nose two guys named Hymenaeus and Alexander infiltrated the church and led people astray, even destroying the faith of some (2 Tim 2:17-18). Might better EI workplace skills have changed that?
Jesus. If Jesus had better emotional intelligence he might have handled Judas differently. You gotta wonder. After all, the Savior lost control of one of his top 12 disciples, and Judas never recovered.
What do you say? Can modern psychology help give us more success in the things of God? Meditate on 1 Corinthians 1:25-31.
Now that’s something to celebrate!