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Emotional intelligence

Reporter Name 617 Time View
Update : Monday, April 15, 2024

Zaker ALi Shuva
God created human beings with the ability to experience a wide range of emotions. From happiness to sadness, emotions are universal human experiences, transcending culture, age, gender, and social status. People often perceive emotions as fluid, but imagine if they could be quantified, assessed, and fine-tuned to enhance a person’s quality of life. Advocates of the idea of emotional intelligence believe this is not only possible but essential.
Emotional intelligence, a concept in modern psychology, is thought to be to an individual’s ability to perceive, interpret, and regulate his own emotions, as well as to understand and respond to the emotions of others. Psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer introduced the term emotional intelligence in 1990. It later became widely recognized through Daniel Goleman’s 1995 book Emotional Intelligence.

Proponents of the emotional intelligence (EI), or emotional quotient (EQ), concept argue that it’s a more beneficial metric of aptitude compared to the traditional measurement, intelligence quotient (IQ). While IQ measures a person’s reasoning ability, including his or her capacity to learn, understand, and apply information and logic, EQ focuses on emotional awareness and empathy. Advocates emphasize that emotional competency is key not just for personal well-being but also for effective leadership, teamwork, and conflict resolution in professional settings.

Proponents of EQ often criticize what they see as the overemphasis of IQ in assessing an individual’s potential. They argue that relying heavily on IQ scores ignores vital interpersonal and social skills. Such skills, crucial for fostering healthy personal interactions, also play a significant role in mental health, helping people to manage stress and effectively navigate various social settings.

Because the Bible is a Christian’s authority on all matters, it’s important to assess concepts of modern psychology like emotional intelligence from Scripture’s perspective. While the Bible doesn’t directly address measuring intelligence, whether mental (IQ) or emotional (EQ), it provides trustworthy and practical wisdom on understanding and managing one’s own emotions and responding to those of others.

As a starting point, it’s wise to consider that many branches of psychology incorporate aspects and principles derived from Darwinian evolution, which contradicts the Bible’s teaching on the nature of people. While the subdiscipline of emotional intelligence doesn’t often cite Darwinian teaching, it relies on specializations that do, like developmental, cognitive, and social psychology.

In contrast to Darwinism, which teaches that human emotion is the product of random chance over an extensive period of time, the Bible teaches that God purposefully created emotions as a fundamental and holy part of human nature. The fact that God designed people with emotions is an important aspect of their being made in His image (Genesis 1:26–27). Furthermore, the moral purity of emotions can be seen in the life of Jesus, who, while sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 1:18–19), experienced a range of human emotions, from amazement to joy to grief (Matthew 8:10; Luke 10:21; John 11:35).

It’s also beneficial for Christians to learn and apply the Bible’s instructions on managing emotions, distinguishing between the righteous and unrighteous expression of emotions. For instance, anger can be righteous when directed toward a just cause (e.g., John 2:12–17; Mark 9:42), or unrighteous when it stems from hostility (1 Timothy 2:8; James 1:20). In contrast, modern psychology, with its non-biblical origins and worldview, may sometimes value, promote, or tolerate emotions that the Bible condemns, such as lust (Matthew 5:28), selfish ambition (James 3:14), and covetousness (Exodus 20:17).

Being sensitive to the emotions of others is also an important biblical teaching. For instance, Paul and Peter call Christians to comfort and be sympathetic toward those in need (1 Corinthians 1:4; 1 Peter 3:8). Job’s friends illustrate this when they visit him with the righteous intention “to show him sympathy and comfort him” (Job 2:11, ESV). Similarly, in Jesus’ well-known parable, the heroic Good Samaritan “had compassion” on the man who was attacked and left for dead, dressing his wounds, and caring for his needs (Luke 10:29–34).

In the final analysis, while emotional intelligence offers some insight into the nature of people and their relationships, Scripture offers superior teaching on these topics in two primary ways. First, the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible’s teaching on emotions, elevating them far above modern psychological theories. Second, as illustrated above, Scripture discusses emotions in light of God’s moral standards and sin’s corrupting influence, which emotional intelligence theories fail to consider.

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