Anytime we are in a position to influence another human being, we are leading. As we ground our sense of identity in who God says we are, we gain authority over the devil’s trickery. Emotionally intelligent behavior from a worldly stand point rises and falls depending upon how the world judges it at that moment in time. Emotional Intelligence in Christ is the activation of the Holy Spirit within us to discern and manage our emotions and behavior in a way that honors God by loving others well as Jesus did. (EmotionalIntelligenceinChrist.com).
The difference lies in the power we give to the source of our identity: internal (connected to God) or external (connected to the world).
Each new year gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the behaviors we want to do more of, as directed by the Holy Spirit AND the behaviors we want to do less of, as directed by the Holy Spirit.
“Holy Spirit, reveal to me the behaviors in my life that you want me to do more of and less of to draw me closer to the love of Jesus and others, all for the Glory of God in my leadership.”
What is the source of your identity? Below are a few worldly sources that can easily hijack your identity in Christ:
The need to control events, people and situations in order to feel safe, connected, successful etc. can easily hijack us by distorting our source of identity. As soon as we give power to an external situation, we render ourselves vulnerable to anxiety, fear and self-doubt. The ramification? Fragmented relationships. Each time we give more authority to an external situation than to the power of God within us, who He says we are, where He wants us to go and what He wants us to do in our leadership positions, we can be used for darkness.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8).
The world is screaming and God is whispering. Be determined to pause, step off the stage of the drama and be ALERT in the new year to the voice of God who is constantly whispering, through the activation of the Holy Spirit within us, reminding us of what Jesus said, did and more: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21).
Jesus is our role model for impactful leadership that changes lives. Jesus IS emotional intelligence and He offers us the ability to be emotionally intelligent in Him through the gift of the Holy Spirit to carry out the greatest two commands: love God and love people.
In John 15, Jesus speaks about remaining in Him. He also gives us the way to make that happen: “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love” (John 15:10). Jesus reveals His command in verse 12: “My command is this: love each other as I have loved you.” Simply put, in order to remain in Jesus’ love, we are called to love others as He loves us.
We can’t give out what we have not personally experienced and mastered within. This is why the first phase of Emotional Intelligence in Christ is to have your personal identity grounded in Jesus’ love for you. As your awareness increases around the profound, unconditional love Jesus has for you, it’s contagious. God is the best multi-level marketer in the world. He knows that love transforms relationships and it starts with God’s love for mankind when received within the human heart, it spills out into the lives of others. Love evokes more love. Kindness evokes kindness. Forgiveness evokes forgiveness. Patience evokes patience. When this is not the case, more often than not, it is because a person has disconnected from the love of God: fear, anxiety, self-doubt, offense, jealousy, judgment, envy, strife, selfish ambition and suspicion can quickly take center stage in the form of ugly behaviors.
Stress is the power we give to outside circumstance to define our worth, value and capability. The devil comes to kill our sense of purpose, steal our identity, and destroy our inner peace (John 10:10). Jesus comes to give us life to the fullest. Having the ability to override negative emotions by giving more authority to our identity in Christ within us than to the noise of the world outside of us, is our key to successful emotionally intelligent leadership in Christ.
The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. His main objective is to destroy your inner peace, by confusing your identity and fragmenting your relationships. Be alert, stand firm. When you feel a strong negative emotion slithering through your body, catch it before it spills out into your delivery system: your intonation, facial expressions, body language and word choice.
James offers a method for success in the midst of emotional spiritual combat: “But He gives us more grace. This is why it says: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” 9James 4:6-80. The key invitation here is our choice to resist the urge to react in our behavior to the emotional flare up. Step away, pray, rebuke, invite discernment and wisdom from God before responding to an emotionally charged situation with another person. Jesus was masterful at the timing of His words and behavior to impact and transform lives. At times, it’s simply a matter of allowing the silence to do the heavy lifting.
For your “earth school” practice read the entire chapter of James 4 and invite the power of the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the behaviors He wants you do more of and less of in 2022 so that you make God recognizable to the people entrusted to your care.
Submit to God, be alert, stand firm as you enter this new year as a leader who desires to lead like Jesus. Resist the promptings of the flesh more today than yesterday. Create the space daily, for God to activate Emotional Intelligence in Christ within you, using the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. Remember, we are Christ’s ambassadors and He is making His appeal through us for God’s love to transform lives and save souls.
Check Out the Emotional Intelligence in Christ Project at: EmotionalntelligenceinChrist.com