My good friend, Bill Hendricks, MD, and I were discussing the blog on emotional intelligence. Bill said, “That was good stuff when it came out twenty years ago, but have you thought about spiritual intelligence? What characterizes spiritual intelligence?”
I immediately suggested the key to spiritual wisdom began with humility. One has to humble oneself to God. Bill suggested that before humility came surrendering oneself to God. I suggested that in this case humility and surrender were synonyms. He didn’t agree.
I proposed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as essential. Bill agreed.
Bill then suggested listening to God was the third criteria for spiritual wisdom.
He then provocatively suggested three types of grace. Classical grace is the unmerited favor of God. According to Bill another grace that God grants is awareness that we have made a spiritual error. He gave this example:
This morning when I was shaving I began thinking about my retirement party in eighteen months. Everybody would come and patients would discuss their experiences and I would discuss my thoughts about them. Suddenly God’s grace intervened and told me I was selfishly patting myself on the back. Instead I should be focusing on being in the present, my tasks for the day, and how I could grow closer to God today. This experience could be called a revealing grace.
According to Bill spiritual grace occurs after God exposes our selfishness and invites us to have a closer relationship with Him.
I felt that Bill’s evocative words were well worth sharing. Now, of course, Bill and I are no more theologians than the Pope is a hall of fame baseball player, but perhaps these ideas will stimulate your thoughts about spiritual wisdom.