How are we at the end of another great book?! Yet, here we are. I appreciate our time in the comments where people have shared that this is harder book to discuss because of how deeply it touches. This is also what I love about book clubs, not all books are the same. Some will be easy to read, but not worth discussing. Some will be beneficial to read, and touch on such deep, mysterious, and compelling topics it’s hard to discuss. Others will also be beneficial and easier to talk about. I don’t want us just to read the “easy to talk about” books. Hopefully all the books we read will be beneficial (!). I’ve enjoyed our time! Thank you.
Chapters 9 and 10 in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero were a fitting call to us, the readers as we come to the end. “Grow into an emotionally mature adult” and “Go the next step and develop a rule of life.”
“Loving well is the goal of the Christian life. This is easier in our dreams than in practice. It requires that we grow into emotionally adulthood in Christ, the rewards of which are rich beyond measure.”
I imagine you’re the same, I am so kind and patient when I am alone, picturing the kind of person I am and want to be . . . and then I interact with an actual person and at times am NOTHING like the kind, dreamy version of myself. Turns out I can be testy, sarcastic, shut-down, snappy (and not in the clever way), and a bit too annoyed with those I love.
But there is hope for me! And hope for you, too. What did you think of his summaries of emotional infants, children, adolescents, and adults? As I read this, I was thinking myself—good place to start—and teammates I’ve had. But then I wondered, what does this mean for us as we work with people who have come to faith? How can we help them to develop into emotionally mature believers? I’d love to know your thoughts on this.
I loved—and by this, I mean the theory of it I loved, I still am not where I’d like to be—the spiritual discipline of practicing the presence of people. “Jesus refused to separate the practice of the presence of God from the practice of the presence of people. When pushed to the wall to separate this unbreakable union, Jesus refused.”
I’ve heard of I-It and I-Thou relationships before, and this was a helpful summary: “The result of I-It relationships is that I get frustrated when people don’t fit into my plans. The way I see things is ‘right.’ And if you don’t see it as I do, you are not seeing things the ‘right’ way. You are wrong.” And how I-Thou relationships allow for a sacred space between us.
I found what he said about conflict and agree with his conclusion that many have wrong beliefs about peace making and may have a lack of training and skills. What stood out to you in the conflict section when it comes to life and service cross-culturally?
In the final chapter, Scazzero shared about developing a “Rule of Life” so that what we’ve read can move off the page and live in our real, messy lives. Looking at the elements in a Rule of Life:
- Silence and Solitude
- Daily Office
- Play and Recreation
- Service and Mission
- Care for the Physical Body
- Emotional Health
I want to live this kind of life! As Scazzero said, “begin slowly working on only one or two elements at a time. Be willing to make mistakes, try again, and learn new things.” As we move into a busy season in many ministries, what is one element that God is inviting you to try? Or tweak? I’ll share mine in the comments.
What has stood out to you overall from the book? What surprised you as you read this book? What do you disagree with? All this and more in the comments . . .
P.S. Next week we will have a fabulous post not related to book club, but it was so good I didn’t want you to miss it. In December, since we are busy, we are going to read a short Christmas story each week. I’ll give you the plan next week. Until then, read on, my friends!
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