A hot topic in the modern leadership today is the subject of Emotional Intelligence. It's such a popular issue that companies have become more concerned with "EQ" (Emotional Quotient) than "IQ" (Intelligence Quotient) when it comes to hiring. According to Talentsmart, "Emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs." Emotional Intelligence or a person's Emotional Quotient, as it is often referred, is "the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically." I'm sure you can see why EQ is such an important quality to possess!
Not only is EQ important when it comes to job performance, it is crucial for Mission Performance. We were made for a Mission and as members of the Body of Christ, our mission is achieved in the context of human relationships.
The apostle Paul writes this in Ephesians 3:14-21:
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole
family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (NKJ)
Paul's reference to "Inner Man" involves this very thing - Emotional Intelligence or EQ as we will call it. The "inner-man" includes everything we are on the inside - heart, mind (thoughts & intellect) and our emotions. If we are to make progress and grow to maturity in Christ, then we must realize, inner-strength is crucial - it's a significant part of the equation.
Every believer needs inner-strength. Think about all the emotional, mental and physical pressures we experience on a daily basis that weigh us down, knock us off balance, lead us to discouragement and often times, hopelessness. What makes us emotionally, mentally and spiritually weak? A painful past, negative thoughts, destructive behavior, sinful habits, harmful relationships. All of the stressers of life can contribute in some way to weaken the inner-man and they should not be ignored. Did you know that 90% of physical illness is caused by emotional distress and can lead to obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, asthma, fibromyalgia and more. That's proof that what happens on the "outside" affects what's on the "inside" and what's on the inside will be displayed on the outside in various and often times negative ways and can have an adverse affect on missional impact.
What Paul was praying was for the church, individually and collectively, to have a great emotional, mental, spiritual capacity - to handle temptation, to say no to sin, to stand firm in adversity, to not buckle under the cultural pressure to conform and blend in, but to literally be empowered by Christ who lives within in order to be bold and faithful to the mission we have been given - To Love God and Love People; To Go into our world and faithfully preach and live the Gospel!
Examine yourself. Consider your "inner-man" - your own EQ. Take this EQ Test for to assess where you are and where you need to grow.
To learn more about Emotional Intelligence, check out the article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2014/01/09/emotional-intelligence/#53be2e5e1ac0