Spiritual Intelligence: Bringing Wisdom and Compassion to Your Corner of the World by Dr. Laura-Savage Rains

by Dr. Laura Savage-Rains

So have you scheduled all the days for 2018 where you can expect wisdom and compassion to show up on your agenda? It may sound a little impossible, but we really can plan on having them available to us whenever we need them. How? 

First, you have to be able to identify wisdom and compassion. How do you know they are present? You may not realize it, but you already know it when you see them in others. Who are your spiritual exemplars? Who do you know from history or among your personal acquaintances that bring wisdom, compassion, peace, and harmony to the world? 

When Cindy Wigglesworth asked this question of thousands of people during her research for her book SQ21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence, she noticed that even though the list of names of spiritual exemplars on the list varied from person to person, what was consistent was the list of traits and skills of these spiritual exemplars. We know what spiritual intelligence acts like, even if we can’t quite define it for ourselves. 

As her research continued, she discovered a beautiful metaphor from an Eastern tradition that defined love as a bird with one wing of compassion and one wing of wisdom. If either wing is broken, the bird cannot fly. That metaphor guided her toward a definition of spiritual intelligence: the ability to behave with wisdom and compassion while maintaining inner and outer peace, regardless of the situation.

After years of study, she developed a list of 21 skills of spiritual intelligence and then designed a self-assessment instrument to help individuals identify their strengths and weaknesses in those skills. After you’ve identified them, you have to choose where or if you want to improve. The assessment covers many topics such as how your worldview, your understanding of time and space, and your ability to live out your purpose all affect your relationships with yourself and with others. 

The vocabulary developed by Cindy Wigglesworth gives us a fresh way to talk about spiritual things in a secular environment without putting up the obstacles of religious differences. As a seminary-trained ministry professional, I was thrilled to discover Cindy’s work and can see many applications of it in a ministry context as well as in everyday conversations and encounters between Christians and non-believers. Her neutral terminology helps us talk about the characteristics and expressions of wisdom and compassion without getting into a heated religious debate. At January’s LeaderShare sponsored by Proven Way, I will introduce you to these 21 skills of spiritual intelligence and show you how they can be measured and developed. 

You already are a spiritually intelligent person, yet there may be blind spots you haven’t been able to see in your own spiritual growth. As a Certified Spiritual Intelligence Coach, I can help you take the next step toward some specific areas of personal growth. Come learn more about this new tool that can open up new areas for personal growth and new doors to Kingdom growth. To read more about this topic, see my blog entries at WomensMinistryCoach.com. I wrote a series on spiritual intelligence beginning on September 5, 2017. 

Hope to see you Tuesday, January 23, 2018, at Proven Way’s LeaderShare from 12:00-1:00 pm at Spirit 105.9’s headquarters at 3600 N. Capital of Texas Hwy., Austin. 

Happy New Year! 

Sharmon Colemman