Friends, two things before we jump in to today’s chapters in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. First, like how I snuck that in? Chapters? After saying we’d just read chapter 2? I made a mistake! Today is chapters two and three. So, if you haven’t read chapter three, please do and I’m sorry. Next week really will be just chapter 4.
Second, I want to pray over and for us as we jump in to some important information.
God who knows all, sees all, and loves all, we need you. We need you on an individual level and we need you as a community. As we start to explore topics that might stir up shame and discouragement, we ask that you surround us with your hope. Instead of feeling the weight of this subject, we will feel the invitation and freedom that Christ came to bring. He came to set captors free and we know that though we are eternally free, this is a book we can all benefit from. Thank you, God, that you are a God of substance and you enjoy connecting with the deepest parts of us. Bless this time as we read and discuss this book. In the freeing, strong, fun name of Jesus, Amen.
In chapter 2, Scazzero lists and explains The Top Ten Symptoms of Emotionally Unhealthy Spirituality.
- Using God to run from God
- Ignoring the emotions of anger, sadness, and fear
- Dying to the wrong things
- Denying the past’s impact on the present
- Dividing our lives into “secular” and “sacred” compartments
- Doing for God instead of begin with God
- Spiritualizing away conflict
- Covering over brokenness, weakness, and failure
- Living without limits
- Judging other people’s spiritual journey
Which stood out to you as you read it? Where there any (or multiple) that you didn’t think he explained well or supported enough? How do you think these unhealthy practices might influence an individual, marriages, families, and organizations?
I appreciated in chapter 3 after he listed what we teach a person after they become a Christian that he said, “All of the previous are excellent steps to being to a journey with Christ. Yet they are simply not enough. After a few years many find that past, deeply rooted behavioral patterns that move them away from Christ remain entrenched.” We know this is the truth, don’t we?
Revelation is open to many, many interpretations. Even if you don’t agree with Scazzero’s, I can see his point that we are all influenced by culture and therefore need to slow down and look at what exactly is influencing us. Is it the values of an earthly culture? or a heavenly one?
When I read the components he included in emotional heath and contemplative spirituality, I found myself nodding and wanting both lists to be true of me. As you read, were there one or two you felt a quiet invitation from the Lord to explore as we read together?
And then he went and referenced Mary and Martha and I wanted to scream. I’m sorry, “be a Mary, not a Martha” smacks of a simplistic Christian tea and my still-needing-some-redemption side makes snarky comments. This sermon on the ways Jesus interacted with and called both Mary and Martha to him is a more holistic handling of scripture in my opinion.
But, I can get behind his gifts of slowing down, anchoring in God’s love, and breaking free from illusions. I can’t wait to hear what stood out to you, what was stirred in you, and what you’d like to discuss. See you in the comments :).
P.S. Next week is chapter 4 in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero.
Disclosure : Amazon Affiliate links included in this post. If you click through to Amazon, any purchase you make supports this site.