We have a self-leadership crisis today. It doesn’t matter where you look—politics, business, entertainment—you see its effects.
I’m not trying to point fingers at anyone. Sin dwells in everyone. But we don’t have to accept the self-leadership crisis as permanent. We can aspire to a higher standard.
We measure our Intelligence Quotient, or IQ. We talk about our Emotional Quotient, or EQ. I propose we focus instead on our Spiritual Quotient, or SQ.
When someone sees you, do they see an accurate picture of Christ? I know that’s not the case for me. But I am working on it. How about you?
As James 1:22 says, we should not just listen to the word, and so deceive ourselves. We should do what it says.
What if we applied this standard to our home lives, our work lives, and our church lives? Here are three practical steps to improve your Spiritual Quotient.
Forgive when wronged. (Matthew 18:21-22)
When Jesus answered Peter’s question, He wasn’t saying we should keep score on how many times someone has wronged us. He was saying we should be prepared to forgive people a lot.
When someone wrongs you, do you forgive them? I mean, really forgive them—and mean it? So that when you think about what they did, it doesn’t even bother you?
Instead of keeping mental notes on how many times others have wronged us, what if we kept track of how many times we genuinely forgave them? That would show the spiritual growth Jesus is talking about.
Control your tongue. (James 1:26)
The book of James says that if someone thinks he’s religious and doesn’t control his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
When someone says something that hurts you at church, are you quick to respond in kind? How about at work? How about at home?
What if we chose to count to ten when someone hurt us? And while counting to ten, we could meditate on Jesus’ words: “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” That would help you keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
Be fruitful. (Galatians 5:22-23)
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Are we exhibiting these in our lives? Are we trying to? How are we measuring that?
What if we took forty days a year to focus on each one of these nine attributes? Over time, we would become much more intentional about living what we believe. And we would be the doers of the word that James 1:22 was talking about.
We ought not be dismayed by the self-leadership crisis in our midst until we are first willing to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We can change our culture. But we have to change ourselves first.
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