Daily Devotions

Join the Mental Mensa Club

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By insolence the heedless make strife, but wisdom is with those who take advice. (Proverbs 13:10)

Emotional Intelligence is the relatively new way of evaluating overall intellect. In previous devotions I have mentioned the blessing of Emotional Intelligence and the way it reflects Biblical wisdom. Nick Wagnall addresses the role of feelings in one’s overall Emotional Intelligence. Wignall addresses the means of nurturing our Emotional Intelligence in his article, “4 Questions that Will Improve Your Emotional Intelligence.”

First, put feelings in their place. Wignall calls us to ask, “What are the facts?” When facts and feelings are at odds, feelings are often out of control. Wignall points out, “Don’t ignore your situation just because your mind is screaming at you.” Learning self-control when your mind is screaming is a first step in experiencing Emotional Intelligence.

Second, Wignall creates a simile worthy of consideration. He says, “Learn to see your emotions like lights on your car’s dashboard.” He continues, “Imagine what would happen if, the next time your low-fuel light went off and made you feel uncomfortable, you stuck a piece of tape over it?” Only when you rip the tape off and take it to the repair shop, will your car function well again. Responding to our emotional lights, recognizing what our emotions mean helps us address them before they rule us.

Wignall quotes Sabaa Tahir’s wisdom, “Your emotions make you human. Even the unpleasant ones have a purpose. Don’t lock them away. If you ignore them, they just get louder and angrier.” Finally, Wignall affirms, “What’s my story?” When we learn our story, we learn about our emotions and what triggers them. When we learn the triggers, we are able to face them with courage and insight. Today, start reflecting your story, and watch your Emotional Intelligence grow to Mental Mensa levels!

The Wisdom of Age

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Wisdom makes one’s face shine, and the hardness of one’s countenance is changed. (Ecclesiastes 8:1)

In our present society, which worships at the foot of youthfulness, writer Tim Denning comes to terms with advancing age, and affirms the blessing of lessons learned. In this article, “The Incredibly Harsh Lessons You Learn with Age,” Denning shares some of his learnings. It resonated with me, and I believe we should all affirm the wisdom that only age, and experience can provide.

Denning affirms, “Nothing is ever ‘done.’ He recommends, “Learn to be satisfied with good enough for now, and you’ll avoid the trap of perfection which you can’t humanly achieve. Ever.” Waiting to be happy, or to even relax, until you’ve done everything will leave us unhappy the rest of our lives.

Next Denning believes, “Success increases with your ability to be vulnerable.” Denning confirms, “It’s when you reach a level in life that you become okay (not comfortable) with being vulnerable that you start to unlock selflessness.” This is Biblical, with a great many passages affirming vulnerability in order to offer oneself to God. It remains one of the most challenging aspects of the faith.

Denning continues, “There is always another struggle coming next.” In this imperfect world, we are never at peace, at rest, or without discomfort. That is why we must become comfortable with vulnerability. This leads to Denning’s next assertion, “You always have more to learn.” When we stop learning, we stop trying, and when we stop trying, life is over. There is joy in new challenges and new thoughts to be experienced. Just remember, learning is struggle worthy of us.

Today, take time to prayerfully consider each of Tim Denning’s lessons. The more we are able to reflect on the wisdom learned, the more we are able to recognize God’s Spirit at work within us. Like Tim Denning, I believe each of us will affirm one deeper sense of maturity with each new wrinkle that comes to the surface.

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