Spiritual and Emotional Maturity

I was taught a management study early in my career that has always stuck with me. Let’s say there are two types of bosses and two other types. These fit in a 2×2 matrix (in management circles, everything fits in a 2×2 matrix). That yields a box composed of four squares. On one side you measure either good feel for people or poor feel for people. On the other you measure good intellectual control over emotions and poor intellectual control over emotions.

Best boss

There are four possible combinations of the two sets. When people were surveyed, which do you think came out as the best boss?

Turns out that feel for people did not matter. What mattered was intellectual control over emotions. People wanted a stable boss, not one whose emotions controlled her/him.

That one lesson led to a lifetime of learning about the topic.

Once again, early in my education I was studying meditation. What better place to study how meditation helps you see God than to study the early Christian “desert Fathers.” I found the book “The Ladder of Divine Ascent” by John Climacus.

Wonder what that book is about? Getting control over your emotions. You could read that instead of Freud and be much the wiser.

Today’s lesson

Last week I listened to a TED Talk by Sally Kohn. She is the “gay, lesbian Talking Head” on Fox. The point was about emotionally connecting to people even if you disagree with them on politics versus letting pure emotion drive combativeness, hate and anger. She called it being emotionally correct (riffing off politically correct). I call it emotional maturity (or you can take it as Emotional Intelligence after the title of a book).

Then I heard about some sort of scuffle about some guy who looks like an aging ZZ Top singer–I guess some sort of reality TV guy from Louisiana (I have no idea what Duck Dynasty is, and I don’t really care to learn) who spouted off with a bunch of emotionally charged opinions.

So, everyone goes off on their opinions. I finally decided to read what the guy said. It’s the same stuff I grew up with. Every white male (and most females) held the same opinions and considered themselves the model of Christianity. In fact, about half of the people I’m connected with on Facebook are still at that level.

What comes to mind in both cases is emotional maturity. Or lack thereof.

There are ways to say things that just stir up people. Or, there are ways to emotionally connect with people to show a more mature nature. People in general respond to the emotionally mature person, even if they don’t agree with everything.

I am trying to learn that sort of maturity. Sometimes I slip. Then I am convicted of my failure.

One last thought–don’t get all worked up about TV and terms like freedom of speech. TV is all about money. And people who are concerned first and foremost with money do not want to offend groups of people with money who might part with it to them. Ask a friend who similarly lost a job.

There is freedom of speech. Then there is the freedom to speak wisely.

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “Spiritual and Emotional Maturity”

  1. Leopold Ploner Says:

    Hi Gary, just wanted to say how much I enjoy your Faith Ventures.
    Merry Christmas and I hope to see you sometime in 2014, maybe in Hanover.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: