Monday, March 23

Spiritual Intelligence 101: Remember Gratitude

IQ (intelligence quotient) testing has been used for years to predict a person’s ability to perform in an academic or work environment. EQ (emotional intelligence) is now recognized to be equally important, often even more important, for success in work and life. What about spiritual intelligence? It is an altogether different sort of gift, received supernaturally through the Holy Spirit through baptism. Yet this gift needs to be fanned into flame (2 Timothy 1:6). Not quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

It’s easy for the deluge of uncertainty about the present pandemic to quench our trust, and even lead to panic attacks. The present crisis certainly is a test of our faith. One way to “fan into flame the gift of God” which is in us is to practice gratitude, even in—especially when—we are tempted to worry. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Notice, it is to give thanks IN all circumstances, not necessarily to give thanks for the circumstances. Perhaps this is a good day to be reminded of the many bodily, material, and social resources that God has showered on you, even though you do not deserve anything from him. Yet there is even more profound security to be found in believing God’s promises to love and care for you no matter what. These promises have been confirmed to you in the resurrection of Christ, who died for us. He delivers us from all our fears as we seek him (Psalm 34:4). Maintaining our spiritual intelligence will enable us to maintain clear thinking and to keep relationships more important than problems, so we can manage better in the stress. But when we are caught up in anxiety and fear it is difficult to relate well or think clearly. In these days, we need spiritual intelligence more than ever.

Lord God, heavenly Father, thank you that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever; that nothing can ever separate us from your love for us, since we are joined to Christ Jesus in baptism; that your Spirit intercedes for us from our deepest places of concern, that you care for us and will never leave us or forsake us. We trust you to lead us and guide us. We trust that you will accomplish your will for us—being thankful in all circumstances—as we come to you. Lord, I believe; help my unbelief. What do you want me and my people to know in this situation? May your Holy Spirit lead us into all truth, that we may worship you in Spirit and in truth. Amen.