Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash the Power of Authentic Life in Christ
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Emotional Healthy Spirituality is a groundbreaking work on the integration of emotional health and contemplative spirituality that current models of discipleship fail to address. Many sincere followers of Christ, followers who are really passionate for God,?join?a church, participate weekly in a small group, serve with their gifts, and who are considered "mature," remain stuck at a level of spiritual immaturity--especially when faced with interpersonal conflicts and crises. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality offers a strategy for discipleship that address this void, offering?powerful pathways?to transformation that will help readers?mature into?a faith?filled with authenticity?and a profound love for God.
Life Changing A year ago I was secretly battling Alcoholism and Addictions thinking this was the life I was meant to have. I had a newborn baby and a wife of 7 years and my addictions were tearing our marriage and my life apart. My life was out of control, but by Gods grace through an intervention I was sent to one of the most well respected and top recovery and addictions treatment facilities. I had become a Christian 11 years prior and God had radically changed my life doing amazing things in and through me. I had found an escape in alcohol at an early age as it allowed me to deal with life circumstances and challenges, and to allow me to quickly change the way I felt. Thinking I had control over the alcohol, it quickly had control over me. I have been clean and sober now 11 months and have been through and continue to go through intensive counselling and therapy. This book though is one that God has used to help save not only my life but my marriage. Though I had become a Christian at 19 years old and was "a new creation" I continued to carry with me the wounds and scars that life had delivered me and the only way I knew to deal with them was through alcohol and other addictions. This book allowed me to dig deeper into my past, to feel my past, and to understand the things that have made me who I am. In the past, Truth had always trumped my feelings, because my feelings I was told would easily lie to me. However for me, alcohol trumped the truth. This book has done a great job at allowing me to not only identify my feelings and to recognize that as a good thing, but to be open and honest with God about them. It has also allowed me and my wife to begin the healing process as we openly talk about how we feel now, whether angry, sad, fearful, happy, joyful, or peaceful. Recovery is about a lot of things for me but it has been about being able to recognize my feelings and emotions as a good thing and to deal with them in a Godly way by being open and honest about my story with God, my wife and a few close friends. It has set me on a path to being Emotionally Healthy! I won't fully be there until eternity but am grateful to God that He used this book in my life at 30 years old....more info
Another step toward Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Emotionally Healthy Spirituality builds upon Pastor Scazzero's previous book - The Emotionally Healthy Church. Although there is some repetition in the beginning part of this book, Mr. Scazzero further develops the 6 principles outlined from his first book using more personal examples and revealing a fresh passion to effectively help the reader move from theory to a changed life. I agree with the author - what good is it to provide more information, or even preaching material (that is all some Pastors will see) if the result is not a changed/transformed life? Only time, and responses from those who read this work will tell if the author's intention was fulfilled.
As for me, I was elated when reading chapters four ("Becoming Your Authentic Self"), five ( "Breaking the Power of the Past"), and nine ("Learning New Skills to Love Well") - because they advanced the issues that seem to be the major area of weakness for the modern day church. Pastors should pay special attention to the content of these chapters because many of them have not yet emerged as the unique person and gift that God has created them to be, often because of not dealing with these specific issues. In my opinion these chapters deserve even more development - a proper treatment could be an entire book rather than just a couple of chapters.
The rest of the book is ok, mostly a re-packaging of spiritual disciplines effectively treated by spiritual formation writers to the likes of Richard Foster and Dallas Willard. There are many thought provoking quotes throughout the book, something the author uses well in his approach to illuminating the principles of emotionally healthy spirituality.
Overall, the book is a worthwhile read. I look forward to more dialogue on this subject....more info
Helpful but flawed... Scazzero offers a useful book in "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality," though I couldn't help but think that it could have been so much more. What he does best is cut through some of the Christianese insider language to identity some serious problems with the way that many of us think and talk about our faith, specifically in the context of emotions. He diagnosis a real problem with some of our most common, unspoken assumptions (that Christians are always supposed to be happy, that a meaningful relationship with Christ will produce emotion-free bliss, etc.). In fact, the first several chapters of the book, in which he lays out this diagnosis, are the strength.
My critique is two-fold. First, I felt that Scazzero made a serious logical misstep when he goes to great lengths in the first half of the book to illustrate that the faithful practice of spiritual disciplines will not insure or produce emotional maturity. However, towards the end of the book, his prescription for emotional well-being essentially boils down to the faithful practice of spiritual disciplines, though they are somewhat unorthodox in the contemporary evangelical community (what he calls a "Rule of Life"). This solution would have made sense, had he not taken great pain to suggest that spiritual disciplines are not the answer to emotional immaturity.
The other problem with the book is that it was rather dry. In contrast to an author like John Ortberg, who weaves story after story in the midst of his text, Scazzero didn't seem very inclined to use narrative as a way to engage the reader. As a result, I was sometimes bored, though his content was quite compelling.
Overall, this book is fine, and I'm glad that I read it. Chapter 8 (on the Daily Office and the Sabbath) was a high point that any Christian would be well-served to read. But the logical disconnect and the dry writing style prevent me from recommending it too highly.
Spirituality for the whole person At last a book that offers a way to let Jesus heal the whole person, empower a Christian's entire life. With unflinching honesty and humility, Pastor Scazzero witnesses to a spirituality that gives attention to our past without allowing us to remain perpetual victims. He offers us disciplines for our future that can shape our lives and make room for the abundance that Jesus promised.
My favorite surprise in the book was the call to true "Sabbath." I'm not there yet, but I feel the tug of the Spirit, urging me to take this seriously. It is such a joy to realize that the world can carry on one day a week without me!
It's difficult to imagine the Christian whose walk would not benefit from reading this book....more info
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality This book was awesome!! Peter Scazzero really deals with the perception of what people think the church and a relationship with God look like vs. what they truly are meant to be. He's painfully and refreshingly honest about his experiences as a Christian and as a pastor. I highly recommend this book for those who desire a committed, truthful and free relationship with the Lord.
A Must Read This is a follow up to his Emotionally Healthy Church targeting more the individual Christian more than church leaders. I don't agree with some of his theological positions, but the overall concept of emotional health and contemplation are great. This needs to be tempered and discerned with the readers' personality, gifts, and way of learning. The best part are his applications of Sabbath. Worth the read. I also love the way he encouraged the reader to apply the principles as they see fit and are comfortable with. A highly recommend this book to any church leader, any Christian, parent, teacher, anyone!...more info
Emotional Health--A Long Time Coming For The Body of Christ I'm reading Emotionally Healthy Spirituality for the second time. This book aligns with my spiritual belief, as well as my personal belief system, that emotional health should be--no, must be--integrated into the body of Christ so to promote true spiritual maturity. The book, as some people may believe, is not saying that we should live or be driven by our emotions, but to address them. Avoidance is a curse to emotional health. Given my past experience, I wholeheartedly believe that emotional health is one of the major keys to spiritual growth. However, Peter Scazzero is the first pastor that I know of who has articulated the issue--and well!
Excellent book! Three years after Pastor Pete published his award-winning book "Emotionally Healthy Church"(Zondervan, 2003), we finally have a new book from him. Personally, I believe that this is a great book that will revolutionize the ways churches around the globe approach spirituality. In this book, Pastor Pete tries to provide an antidote to unhealthy emotions and/or unhealthy spirituality by two cures: emotional health and contemplative spirituality. (Chapter Three) These cures, I believe, are helpful even to non-Christians.
Pastor Pete begins the bulk of this book by enumerating the top ten symptoms of emotionally unhealthy spirituality. (Chapter Two) In the seven primary chapters constituting the pathway to emotionally healthy spirituality, he begins by "Know yourself that you may know God"(Chapter Four). This is indeed important because oftentimes we misunderstand God because we do not even understand ourselves well enough. "Going back in order to go forward" is the title for the next chapter, which is also a slogan of the New York City subway system from time to time when it tries to explain the reason and result of rerouting. This is equally true for spiritual maturity because to understand ourselves well, we frequently would have to go back to our (sometimes hurtful) past to find out the reason(s) of our current wound/immaturity in order to find an effective remedy. Chapter Six describes the journey through the wall. This is important because the journey to heaven is full of thorns and never without obstacles. Appreciating the necessity/inevitability of walls and the importance of patiently waiting upon the Lord during the period of walls is a key to mature spirituality. As human life is never consummated without grief and loss, the next chapter teaches us to accept this fact and to enlarge our soul through the grieving process. (See e.g. Ecclesiastes 3:4 and Job)
Chapter Eight is one of my favorite chapters in this book, which describes the rhythms of the Daily Offices and the Sabbath. Daily Office (opus) is the functional equivalent of the quiet time or devotional time with an emphasis in meaning on the "work of God". This is a favorite chapter because personally I have greatly benefited from the observance of the Daily Offices and the Sabbath. Moreover, I believe that observing the Sabbath is a great way to get some quality rest on a weekly basis while observing the daily offices is crucial to rest and center on God on a daily basis. "Love your neighbors as yourself" is one of the central tenets of Christianity (Matthew 22:39). Chapter Nine teaches us some useful techniques to love people well as a mature person, such as the right way to resolve conflicts, reflective listening, the Bill of Rights on mutual respect, checking out assumptions and expectations. In the last chapter, Pastor Pete challenges us to consider developing a personal rule of life by adopting two or three of the following elements at a time, such as scripture, silence and solitude, Daily Office (prayer), study, Sabbath, simplicity, play and recreation, service and mission, care for the physical body, emotional health, family, community (companions for the journey).
I highly recommend this book to any Christian and/or non-Christian who wants to develop mature character and spirituality.
Finally... I purchased this book based on the recommendation of a trusted friend. Wow! This is one book every Christian should read, regardless of denomination. It not only explains so much, but it talks about how to fix it and actually GROW in our faith. Truly a wonderful book....more info
Refreshing look at Christian spirituality Great book...Scazzero goes where not enough writers about Christian spirituality go: to an authentic and genuine (even if messy) relationship with the living Christ.His enouragement and practical help for doing the difficult inner work that God blesses is very helpful. Good stuff!...more info
Motivating and Inspiriting I read this book as a result of having read The Emotionally Healthy Church which was required reading for a class my husband is taking. I have not always been a christian and have spent the past seven or eight years trying to decided if something was missing because after relocating to a new area I just could not find my place in my present church. Reading this book motivated me to start a Bible Study but it was different in that the "Problem of Emotinally Unhealthy Spirituality","Pathway to Emotinally Healthty Spirituality", and The Daily Office were great chapters.
This book was great for me in renewing my walk with Christ. It also gave me permission to question certain areas but also directed me with answers to search and apply. This is a great book if someone who lacks all the training, theology that sometimes gets lost in Bible Study it's great for discussion. I purchased the workbook also.
It spoke to me in every chapter..the Bible says "Seek and ye shall find". I enjoyed reading it and was able to replace my own experiences in place of some illustrations that fit just find. It is a great "template" for discussion and would be a great source for someone who is not a Bible teacher but someone who wants to share their faith and have a healthy discussion doing so.
There are several footnotes at the end that I was able to research and add to my reading list from those cited in this book. Overall, it would be great for a small group or someone seeking to include both Christians and non-Christian in a group. Addresses topics that are not just for Christians but life in general. Takes you back to basics. Working on my second Bible Study group. Everyone who participated ended up doing their own study so it's a great tool for beginners like me needing a guide. Enjoyed it. ...more info
Discovering True Emotionally Healthy Christianity This is another book that was required reading for the Doctorate of Ministry program this semester. The opening illustration of the man wanting to come over to talk about his problems and the author (minister) inviting him over even though he was wore out and his wife was wore out too. It was a classic case of "faking it for Jesus." The man continued to talk for hours. Instead of having boundaries, the minister allowed himself to be used and abused. The reason was he needed to be liked and well thought of regardless of his true feelings. The book does an excellent job of looking at spirituality within a emotional framework. All ministers have been used in the name of Christ. This book deals with some of the unhealthy mindsets that exist within Christianity. The book comes from a systems perspective which is beneficial to a preacher. The book was easy to read and interesting because of the real life perspectives on Christianity. It highlighted a lifestyle that would create a living and healthy spirituality within the practitioners of the steps. This was an excellent and helpful book....more info
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality This book answers the question why some people can be 20, 30, 40, and even 80 and still feel and act like
they are 2 or 13. The truth really does set you free; Peter Scazzero writes from experience, and he shows you how to grow up in Christ! ...more info
True Biblical Spirituality Correctly and Biblically understanding the impact of sin upon our emotions and the impact of our emotions upon our ability to think, reason, and respond to our ongoing experiences, is essential for transformation into Christlikeness. Dallas Willard's book, Rennovation of the Heart, and his examination of the emotional aspects of our "heart" is a good compliment to this book's much needed focus on feelings, emotional health, and spiritual disciplines. So many Christians believe that they correctly understand, discern, and process through situations and experiences - all the while being blind to how their perceptions are shaped by sin's effect on their God given emotions. Of particular interest is Scazzero's use of the "Wall" and adaptation of discipleship issues found in the book - The Critical Journey. I appreciate his call to honesty in Biblical examination of our inner heart - Jer. 17:9 and the call to experience God in the centuries old spiritual disciplines of the church. Great stuff! ...more info
a must read for spiritual and emotional health, which people often overlook The ten symptoms described are very common among Christians, even for the "mature" ones. Like the author said, it is not possible for spiritually health without emotional healthy. And we cannot go forward without going backward first to check how our family background affected us, with or without we realizing it....more info
Jump start your spiritual life This book came to me at the perfect time. I have been stuck spiritually for awhile. It revealed some things to work on and gave me tools to get going again. Very encouraging....more info
Great Small Group material A great tool to grow in maturity and spirituality. Wonderful workbook to go with the text. Want to know what maturity looks like? Try this....more info
This will change your life if you let it! I have read few books that caused me to stop - make time to re-read, weep, journal and pray about the impact they were having on my life. This book is THAT powerful. It is deeply personal, both from the author's point of view and to where it takes you, the reader. The stories shared vividly illustrate Scazzero's points and I have never seen the relationship between emotional maturity and spirituality so deftly woven together. Great find!...more info
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality I absolutely love this book and everyone I know is reading it. I heard it was out of print. I hope not, cause I might want to order a few more for friends....more info
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Just as Daniel Goleman has pioneered Emotional Intellegence in the secular world, Peter Scazzero is one of the lone voices pioneering emotional health in the spiritual world. This book is a must read for all church leaders!!...more info
Awesome This book was an emotionally life-changing read for me. Scazzero does a great job of deconstructing the church's unhealthy understanding of the role emotions play in our spiritual lives and reconstructing a biblical understanding of how vital emotional health is to loving God and others....more info
Elder, Ph.D., Sunday school teacher, professor This book is better than his book published 2003 "the emotionally healthy church", because it is well thought out and more organized. This is a very useful book for Christian leaders for renovate their private life and also their church....more info
Not thrilled- .. A friend of mine suggested I read this book and I could not get into it.. I tried it just wasn't for me-. Way to wordy..:-(...more info
Even better than his last book. Life changing pages ahead! Peter Scazzero's first book, "The Emotionally Healthy Church" has had a great impact on churches and church leaders all over North America and beyond, so much so that it is now available in 5 languages. Next year another language will come out and by sometime in 2008 it will be available in 7 languages according the publisher. It is interesting to note that book was written for a church leaders. This new book, "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash the Power of Authentic Life in Christ", goes beyond just leadership, to everyone who has a seeking heart.
I am member of Pastor Pete's church. His preaching and teaching has and continues to transform how we see ourselves in Christ, how we relate to each other, both in the world and in the Body of Christ, and in how to walk out a freedom in emotional and spiritual health that has restored our joy in the Lord! Our church funtions in a greater degree of love and understanding of who God made each of us to be as individuals and as a body. We are still journeying on that path, growing daily.
Yet, upon reading this book I told Pastor Pete that his writing is even better than his preaching on this book and that's saying something! Even after sitting under teaching for 3 years now on this new book "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash the Power of Authentic Life in Christ", I found myself drawing nearer and deeper into who Jesus is as I read, and how much the love of the Father is impacting my life like never before. The grace and the power of the Holy Spirit reaches through every word. Although written in easy reading form, there is much to chew on in this book, much to digest. Pick it up for your summer reading under a shade tree on your vacation. Read it slowly and contemplate the Lord's presence as you do so. You won't be sorry, you'll be changed. ...more info
Bringing all of life together Peter Scazzero does a good job of mapping out growth in the spiritual life. It's a great mix of right thinking and the necessary practical behaviors that one would expect of the spiritually and emotionally mature person. Very encouraging. Inspiring....more info