Sunday School Lesson 14Emotional Intelligence
MEMORY VERSE: “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” – Proverbs 16:32
BIBLE PASSAGE: Galatians 5:13-18 KJV
INTRODUCTION: “emotional intelligence” is the concept of knowing our feelings, managing and expressing them appropriately. It is also the ability to skilfully recognise or gauge how others feel and modify our own behaviour depending on the situation at hand in order to live in harmony with them. It is obvious that our God is emotionally intelligent (Psalm 78:38). His emotions are positive, holy, noble and appropriate. Since we are created “in the image of God”, then it means that, as we mature in Christ, our emotions should, in great measure, share His divine qualities with the help of the Holy Spirit.
- Classification Of Emotions
- Managing Emotions
1. CLASSIFICATION OF EMOTIONS
We shall attempt to break down emotions into three classes for easy identification.
- Holy Emotions- these are emotions expressed by God such as compassion (Psalm 78:38), joy (Zeph. 3:17), jealousy (Exodus 20:5b) and holy indignation (Deut. 32:16). Jesus, during His earthly ministry, also expressed some emotions (Matthew 9:36; 21:12). Holy emotions can also accompany a believer’s life in the Spirit in times of praise, worship and adoration (Eph. 5:19). They are not necessarily religious or pious emotions. They are good and beautiful (Phil.4:8)
- Human Emotions- these are based on our human nature and situations. Our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ expressed some natural human emotions during His time on earth for instance, He wept at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35), scattered and sent parking those trading in the temple of God (Matt. 21:12-13) and groaned in the spirit being troubled (John 11:33). A feeling or an expression such as happiness, excitement, surprise, ecstasy, grief, disgust embarrassment, pain, fear, sadness abandonment, sorrow, anxiety, stress, anguish and vulnerability are therefore, natural human emotions. For the ‘Christian’ they are temporary. While some of these emotions may be bad, they are not evil or toxic if and when properly managed.
- Fleshly Emotions – These are toxic, poisonous and destructive emotions such as untamed anger, malice, envy, selfish ambition, carnality, bitterness, lusts, hatred, etc. They are closely tied up with the works of the flesh and with evil deeds (Galatians 5:19-21). Their outcome is spiritual death (Romans 8:6,13; Galatians 5:21b). These emotions were not part of mankind at creation (Genesis 1:31a). Fleshly emotions constitute what Apostle Paul calls the ‘old man’ that must be put off and crucified (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22).
2. MANAGING EMOTIONS
The concept of ’emotional intelligence’ is quite helpful in opening our understanding to how we can manage our emotions and relate better with others. Here are some practical steps to take in order to be emotionally balanced.
- Self-Awareness: Identity and admit that you have issues with emotions and have a clear picture of how you appear to most people in order to make self-improvements (2 Cor.13:5).
- Self-Control: Regulate your emotions by putting it under check so that it does not take you over. Proverbs 16:32; 29:11; Eccl.7:9).
- Seif-Motivation: Regardless of the situation or circumstance, rather than being depressed, moody, sad or aggressive, try to encourage yourself and maintain a stable temper (1 Samuel 30:6).
- Self-Expression and Empathy: You should always find an appropriate channel and time to politely express your feelings (Proverbs 15:1) and judge people less by seeing things from their points of view (Matthew 7:1-5; 1Peter 3:8-9).
- Self/’Social-Skill Development: Develop the right level of rapport (relationship) with people you come across and be patient in your dealings with them (Proverbs 16:32, 18:24; Romans 12:18;2Timothy 2:24).
However, all the practical approaches mentioned above may not yield the expected result unless the believer yields himself first to the Holy Spirit who helps him/her respond differently to each of the three categories of emotion.
The Holy Spirit rejoices and assists us when we engage in holy responses. He produces them within us so they can justly be called “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23). On the other hand, the Holy Spirit comforts us when the human emotions such as grief overwhelm us (John 14:16). Lastly, He helps us to break the grip of fleshly emotions such as hatred, lust and revenge. In fact the Spirit wars against such impulses so that we cannot fully give way to our worst desires (Galatians 5:16-18). Hence, the Holy Spirit becomes the source of our intelligence when we take heed to His promptings.
The power to defeat deep and difficult emotions comes from God and involves the human spirit coming into contact with God’s Spirit.
- Monday: Philippians 4:6 KJV; Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
- Tuesday: John 16:3 KJV; And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
- Wednesday: Matthew 6:34 KJV; Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
- Thursday: Matthew11:28 KJV; Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
- Friday: Joshua 1:9 KJV; Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
- Saturday: 1 Peter 5:6-7 KJV; 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
- Sunday: 1 Corinthians 13:4 KJV; Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,