Spiritual intelligence connects us to God

What you need to know:

FYI. What  are benefits of spiritual intelligence? Msgr Wynand Katende finds out.

Jesus’ intelligence astounded those who listened to Him: “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary...?” they asked (Matthew 13:54-56). Similarly, in John 7:15-16:  “How did this man get such learning without having studied?” He responded “My teaching is not of me, but of Him who sent me”. 

Intelligence is generally defined the ability to use what you know in the right way at the right time in the right place with the right intention. There are many kinds of intelligence such as; spiritual, emotional, political, economic, linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, and military intelligence.

Life awareness

Spiritual intelligence is to realise who we are and to live life in that awareness. It is the expression of the inborn spiritual qualities of love, peace, purity and bliss, through our thoughts, attitude and behaviour. It is the spiritual power to accept loss of someone or something, and move on. According to Proverbs 16:22, spiritual intelligence leads to happiness, prosperity and fullness of life. 

The Word of God indicates what spiritual intelligence is and is not. According to Ephesians 1: 18, spiritual intelligence is the opener of the eyes of our heart, leading to enlightenment and supernatural vision.  It is what Solomon asked for from God (1Kings 3:9; 12). Jesus chided Nicodemus, though a religious teacher, for his lack of spiritual intelligence (John 3:10-11).  

Spiritual intelligence connects us to God. Resistance to this connection has the effect of darkening the heart and mind. Satan, evil spirits, and evil people all demonstrate a degree of spiritual intelligence, but for evil purposes. They are driven by pride, violence and greed (Romans 1:30). 

A power-hungry tyrant has faith in the spiritual world but does not go on to develop a loving relationship with God and people. Hitler developed mastery of spiritual intelligence, but used it to manipulate people’s deepest spiritual longings to gain power and control over them. 

Learn from mistakes  

Spiritual intelligence makes people open to learning from their mistakes. “Rebuke a discerning man and he will gain knowledge,” says Proverb 19:25. Biblical changes in name: Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter, Saul to Paul, mark their spiritual growth.  Pharaoh, King Saul, and Judas Iscariot failed to comply with spiritual intelligence.

Spiritual matters are noted to be discerned by spiritual intelligence, but remain opaque to others (1 Corinthians 2:14). Christians discern sacraments, as manifestations of God’s love and saving grace. They acknowledge marriage as a visible sign of God’ covenant with the Church. They recognise the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as God’s wisdom and power for our salvation (1 Corinthians 2:4).

Intelligence of any kind generally increases with age and maturation. Luke 1:80 observes that Jesus grew physically and “became strong in spirit”. Jesus first demonstrated His high level of spiritual intelligence as a 12-year-old in the temple, where even the priests were amazed at his understanding and his answers (Luke 2:46-47).  


Solitude and silence have a big role to play in enhancement of spiritual intelligence. That is where God is encountered most (1 Kings 19:12-13).  “In all creation, there is nothing so like God as stillness,” says Meister Eckhart (1260-1327) (a theologian, philosopher and mystic).

Faith, hope and love are integral to spiritual intelligence. Hope is related to faith, but also based in the lessons of history and the Bible (Romans 15:4). Love is most apparent in animating and ordering our relationship to God and to others (Matthew 22:34-40). 

Educate the whole person

Spiritual intelligence calls for education of the whole person through faith, religion, culture and character formation. This is followed up with the practice of disciplines such as meditation, observation, reflection and contemplation. The mind changes to accommodate new ways of thinking; conversion. 

Conversion is manifested by choices and behaviour that affect the individual and society. (1 Corinthians 12: 10-17).