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In the book “Working with Emotional Intelligence” it says that an emotionally intelligent person (I love that term) has three things:
1. EMOTIONAL AWARENESS: The recognition of how our emotions affect our performance, and the ability to guide our values to guide decision making.
This is crucial for me. On personality tests I’m off the chart on emotions, but I’ve learned to recognize when I’m being emotional, pause, give it a day or two, and then make my decision based upon values. My values are clear, those hardly change.
2. ACCURATE SELF-ASSESMENT: A candid sense of our personal strengths and limits, a clear vision of where we need to improve, and the ability to learn from experience.
This has been a hard one for me but I’m growing in it as well. I can do many things well, but only a few very well. There are things I don’t do well. When people say to me, “David, you do …. well”, I’m understanding it as true.
One big revelation and it’s really an issue of surrendering pride, position, power, etc. is when I recently told the Lord, “..I don’t have to teach it, lead it, speak it, play it, sing it….send the people that will do what they do best, send those who will lead, organize, I will do whatever you want me to do, I will work the parking lot, I will work the 4-year old class, you know what I do best Lord, use me in anyway you want, as long as I get to be a part of your kingdom work and its expansion.” That may sound obvious, but it was huge for me because it dealt with self-assesment. Just yesterday, I was setting up tables and picking up trash at a church event. I did it gladly.
If I was to rank three of my strengths and three weaknesses, I would say the strengths deal with vision, relationships and the arts, while the weaknesses deal with structure, systems and organization. I also need to extend more grace, laugh more often, be more kind and gentle, make quicker decisions, be less uptight, and have more realistic expectations. Apart from that I’m great!
I have a passion for Jesus and His kingdom, for people and relationships, to equip others, to love, to think of what could be. If that’s good enough, Lord send me!
3. SELF-CONFIDENCE: The courage that comes from certainty about our capabilities, values and goals.
This one has been the biggest area of growth for me, to thyself be true. To know myself and to go deep in those areas, to say no to things I don’t do well. I also want to do keep doing things that stretch me. As when I went to Russia, working with 32 children for 2 weeks was not my strength, but God stretched me and taught me to love children sacrificially. That experience, although not in my area of strength, shaped me for the rest of my life. I still miss those children.
I’m also learning to step into my call more and more even when it’s scary. I’m learning to propose ideas, to offer a different or similar view, to ask the hard questions, to let my vote count. These are the things that I’ve struggled with and others have criticized me for not using ‘my influence’. I’m working on that and I feel God’s strength when I speak up in unity and love, not afraid, but confident in what God is doing.
At the end of the day self-sacrifice, service and humility are some of the traits that mark a great life. I’m thankful for all the pastors, leaders and regular folk that teach me daily to lead and to serve. I need more of your help. I am so unqualified if not for the grace of King Jesus. He was the ultimate emotionally intelligent person, He knew his cause, his power, his purpose in coming to Earth. I want to be like you Lord.
Into the future,