We’re studying the chapter entitled “Grow into an Emotionally Mature Adult” this week and I am amazed at how God has answered my prayer to show me where I’m at on my journey to emotional health. I love the examples given in this chapter that give a true picture of what it looks like if we are emotionally immature in contrast with what real maturity looks like:
Look for others to take care of them
Have great difficulty entering into the world of others
Are driven by need for instant gratification
Use others as objects to meet their needs
Are content and happy as long as they receive what they want
Unravel quickly from stress, disappointments, trials
Interpret disagreements as personal offenses
Are easily hurt
Complain, withdraw, manipulate, take revenge, become sarcastic when they don’t get their way
Have great difficulty calmly discussing their needs and wants in a mature, loving way
Tend to often be defensive
Are threatened and alarmed by criticism
Keep score of what they give so they can ask for something later in return
Deal with conflict poorly, often blaming, appeasing, going to a third party, pouting, or ignoring the issue entirely
Become preoccupied with themselves
Have great difficulty truly listening to another person’s pain, disappointments, or needs
Are critical and judgmental
Are able to ask for what they need, want, or prefer…clearly, directly, honestly
Recognize, manage, and take responsibility for their own thoughts and feelings
Can, when under stress, state their own beliefs and values without becoming adversarial
Respect others without having to change them
Give people room to make mistakes and not be perfect
Appreciate people for who they are…the good, bad, and ugly…not for what they give back
Accurately assess their own limits, strengths, and weaknesses and are able to freely discuss them with others
Are deeply in tune with their own emotional world and able to enter into the feelings, needs, and concerns of others without losing themselves
Have the capacity to resolve conflict maturely and negotiate solutions that considers the perspectives of others
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality – pgs 178 & 179
When Pastor Ross first preached on this topic last week, I felt like it would be hard for me to judge where I am at since I am not married, or working in an office with co-workers, or living with a room mate, etc., etc. I asked the Lord to put me in some situations where it might be obvious where I am at emotionally…and boy, did He ever answer my prayer!
Many times over the last week I have found myself in conversations with others getting critical and judgmental about the topic of conversation. And as you may have picked up on a few of my posts, I have definitely been preoccupied with myself and my future….that surely doesn’t help me truly listen to others pain and disappointments because I am too wrapped up in my own! I thought back to my tendency to avoid conflict with others and not wanting to rock the boat. Then the Lord reminded me how so many times when I was married I would blame and pout when I didn’t get my way.
Well alrighty then…I guess it’s pretty obvious that I’m an emotional teenager! But praise God He is helping me to learn what it is going to look like to be emotionally healthy, and praise God that I have so many others who desire the same emotionally healthy spirituality walking along side me, and a whole church committed to it!
I look forward to learning how to love well. That’s a long way from where I’ve been for the last twelve years, and I praise God for that.