Saturday, January 11, 2014

Am I An Emotional Infant?

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.

What is our goal for clients at The Relationship Center?

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.

For some, you may be thinking: “That describes me to a ‘T’.” But for others, you might say to yourself: “I have a long way to go.”

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.

For those who are interested, the assessment is available online at:

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.  


  1. Thank you Dave! What a great way to be focused as the new year starts! It's hard being a grown up:)))

    1. Judy, it is indeed hard being a grown-up -- at any age.