All week I have been using a self assessment of emotional and spiritual maturity from Pete Scazerro as a way to start the new year. Our pastor Mark reminded us, as he usually does at the beginning of each year, that our goal each year is to grow – that remaining the same year to year is a kind of tragedy.
I think Scazerro sums it up pretty well in his description of an Emotional Adult:
Emotional adults. I can respect and love others without having to change them or becoming critical and judgmental. I don’t expect anyone to be perfect in meeting my relational needs, whether it be my spouse, parents, friends, boss, or pastor. I love and appreciate people for who they are as whole individuals, the good and the bad, and not for what they can give me or how they behave. I take responsibility for my own thoughts, feelings, goals, and actions. When under stress, I don’t fall into a victim mentality or a blame game. I can state my own beliefs and values to those who disagree with me—without becoming adversarial. I am able to accurately self-assess my limits, strengths, and weaknesses and freely discuss them with others. Deeply in tune with my own emotions and feelings, I can move into the emotional worlds of others, meeting them at the place of their feelings, needs, and concerns. I am deeply convinced that I am absolutely loved by Christ, that I have nothing to prove.
The self-assessment measures six areas and rates them according to four maturity levels: Emotional Infant, Child, Adolescent and Adult.
I would love to tell you that I hit top tier on all six areas, but I didn’t. Did this depress me? I guess a little. But it also gave me a challenge and a hope. I still had room to grow, even at 63.
What are the components that will help me reach a higher level of maturity?
- Self-discipline. I can be the master of my own emotions and actions. I can delay gratification and manage my appetites.
- Appropriate transparency. I filter my words so that I share with discernment. Everybody does not need to know everything about me. I can express myself without having to force myself upon others.
- Empathy. I have developed the skill of seeing situations from another person’s perspective and can express care for them.
- Listening. I listen twice as much as I talk.
- Appropriate self-sacrifice. I can yield to others needs when necessary. This is not martyrdom or masochistic, but thoughtfully measured and kindly offered.
It might be helpful to keep this link or download the assessment and take it now and a year from now. You can pinpoint growth areas and then measure your success.