His own name said it, Amable (Kind, in Spanish), but he did not honor it. Who would imagine that this young enthusiast for life, happy and vibrant, and such a good person that he once was, would become a hermit.
He went from being a good friend, neighbor, and member of his family, to being a bitter, lonely hermit. He had been through difficult times in his life, but he had also received many blessings and could not see them, for his isolation had only brought with it a severe emotional blindness.
Amable had isolated himself from all that he once loved, his closure in himself had caused the feelings and emotions of others to become irrelevant. Due to his rough and unconsidered treatment toward others, people who appreciated him and his loved ones were gradually moving away from him.
One of the problems that Amable had was a lack of emotional intelligence. This can be defined as the ability of a person to manage, understand, select, and work their emotions, and the emotions of others.
The problem with emotional intelligence is that it is something that is not innate in us. We are not born being emotionally intelligent. Why? Because we are all born into a world contaminated by sin and the product of the sinful state we carry inside of us and the sinful actions of the people around us. We have been exposed to traumatic, very negative experiences that have led us to experience emotions that we have not been able to handle. However, our chronological growth is not determinedly connected to our emotional growth. I can be an adult chronologically but a child emotionally.
For example, emotional children interpret disagreements as personal offenses. They are easily injured, they complain, they retract, they manipulate, they seek revenge, they are sarcastic when they do not get what they want, they have great difficulty talking calmly about their needs and the things they want in a kind and mature way. Emotional adolescents tend to always be on the defensive. They are threatened and alarmed by criticism, they treat conflicts badly, they usually blame, appease, go with a third person, frown, or ignore the issue altogether.
Emotional adults are deeply attuned to their emotional world and can enter into the feelings, needs, and concerns of others without losing themselves. They are able to ask for what they need, want, or prefer, in a clear, direct, and honest way. They recognize, control, and take responsibility for their own thoughts and feelings. They can, even under pressure, affirm their personal beliefs and values without being aggressive. They respect others without having to change them. Apparently Amable, the man in the story. was an emotional child.
The question you should be asking yourself is this: how do you grow emotionally? Our spiritual growth must be connected to our emotional growth. The Bible says that “our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit” 1 Cor. 6: 19-20; that “we have the mind of Christ” 1 Cor. 2:16. The Holy Spirit is the one who produces in us spiritual and emotional growth as Ephesians 4:13 says, “until he is a man of full maturity, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”. The word maturity means complete, whole, perfect, well developed, adult.
Read the book Learning to Love and learn how to grow emotionally.