I first saw Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero in a reputable seminary book store. Hmm, I thought.
Could we put a few more buzzwords in a title? I also remember thinking, “Well, that book is either spot on or WAY off.” And bought it to find out which it was.
I hope you have cracked the code that this book is a keeper (or it wouldn’t have been chosen for the book club!). I ended up finding it had so much to offer folks in our line of work I created handouts and lead training sessions with team leaders and member care providers. I also, um, talked about it a lot.
A few weeks ago a friend and his wife found out right after they had arrived on the field for a new term that his brother had died in a tragic car accident. They got on a plane and made the trek back to family and the awful task of burying a brother. I had the holy, horrible privilege of attending the viewing and spending a bit of time with them. As we chatted he referenced my love of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. Really, that’s what we’re talking about in this moment, I thought? I want to be known for other things, but guess what was in my bag? The Emotionally Healthy Leader, Peter Scazzero’s most recent book :). We had a small laugh on a hard day.
I know I can be a bit over the top (did you see The Grove last week?), so it was with great delight that I did not suggest this book! One of the other editors did. And I smiled and cheered on the inside, while on the outside said in a calm voice, “Yes, I think that would be a great book to build our fall themes around.”
Here is one of the gifts writing gives to us: what I love, you can hate. And what you think is brilliant, I can think is pedantic. What changes one, can leave another feeling “meh.” So, I don’t want my love of this book to get in the way of what this book club is: a place to let the Holy Spirit use words and ideas to challenge and shape us. Sometimes that comes directly from a book itself, other times through our discussions, and finally through both.
With that said, let’s dive into chapter one. I appreciate Pete and Gerri’s honesty about what was going on in each of them as they lived this ministry life. This life where “work” and “ministry” and “socializing” can get so blurred we’re not sure what’s what.
I know life is not an exact scale, and I don’t think Peter’s point on the “different parts of who we are” was to become obsessed with balance. How would you say you, your marriage and family, your team, and your organization is doing valuing each of the five: emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, and physical?
Have you ever felt “this is NOT working” in your life on the field? Or had others say to you that how you’re living is not working for them?
I liked the way The Message put Galatians 5:22: “What happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard.”
Scazzero goes on to say, “I believe, however, that the walls we hit in our journey with God are gifts from him. It is not God’s intention that we join the ranks of church leavers. He is changing and broadening our understanding of what it means to be a Christ follower in the 21st-century — in ways far more radical than we ever dreamed. Like with Abraham, he is taking us on a journey with many twists and strange turns in order that deep experience and life changes might take place in you and me through Jesus Christ.
“The sad reality is that most of us will not go forward until the pain of staying where we are is unbearable.”
We all can use growth and change, no matter how long we’ve been on the field. Amen? Amen. I look forward to growing and changing with you as we read this book together.
What stood out to you in this chapter? What surprised you about Peter’s story? What, sadly, was all too familiar? I’ll see you in the comments :)!
We will be giving THREE copies of this book away. Leave a comment at The Grove on Friday we’ll draw names … hopefully it’s yours (you can still enter if you have the book and give a copy to a friend.)
P.S. Next chapter 2-3 in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero.
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