Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash a Revolution in Your Life In Christ

What Hav You Missing?
Peter Scazzero learned the hard way: you can ’ t be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature. Even though he was pastor of a growing church, he did what most people do:
Avoid conflict in the name of Christianity
Criticize his grie, longin, and ear
Use God to run from God
Live without boundaries

Eventually God awakened him to a biblical integration of emotional health, a friendshi with Jesus, and classic practices of contemplative spirituality. It created nothing short of a spiritual evolution, utterly transforming him and his church.
In his book Scazzero outlines his journey and the signs of emotionally unhealthy spirituality. Then he provides seven biblical, reality-tested ways to break through to the revolutionary life Christ meant for you. “ The ombination of emotional health and contemplative spirituality, ” he thinks, “ unleashes the Holy Spirit inside us so that we might experientially know the power of an authentic life in Christ. ”
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash the Power of Authentic Life in Christ
Publication Date
Published June 29th 2006 by Thomas Nelson (first published 2006

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I will stick to reading the Bible and praying as Jesus taught us to pray in the New Testament, and likewise with the contemplative spirituality/mysticism that this author purports is the pat to really know God.Some areas in particular that I had issues with in his ook are as follows: According to he author on page 20, " God promises if you and I shoul do life his way ( even though it feels unnatural and hard to us initially), then our lives should be beautiful " -Where in scripture does it say this??

He acknowledges that he ame so that could have life in all it 's fullness ( John 10:10), but I actually coul not use beautiful to describe it, nor is there a verse that supports Scazzero 's claim that God PROMISES ( my emphasis) a beautiful life if we do life His wayOn page 65 the author argues that to bothe God, you ust first know yourself.

Scazzero 's thinking is backwards and not Biblical.In chapter 4 the author also talks about how we ust go back in order to go forward as summed up in two ESSENTIAL biblical truths ( my emphasis)- " 1: the blessings and sins of our families going back two to three generation 's profoundly impact who we are today " I could not believe that this isan " essential biblical truth "- " 2: discipleship requires putting off the sinful patterns of our family of origin and relearning how to do life God 's way in God 's family " Scazzero further posits on page 95 that these key biblical ingredients are CENTRAL ( my emphasis) to our knowledg of what it eans to e a follower of Jesus.

Yes, it may be difficult to look at your family 's past, but to den that it is central to our nderstanding of what it eans to hav a follower of Jesus is assuming far too much.On page 108 Scazzero declares " His ( God 's) approval is without conditions ".

We must believe in Jesus, in order to be " approved of " and turne into his family.I had quite a few objections to raise in chapter 6 of the book.• First of all Scazzero incorrectly states on page 127 that the irst words uttered by Jesus in the new testament are from Matthew 5:3.

If he author will not properly state even this much, then how am I to trust the rest of his writing? • It is my opinion that th uthor is quite mystical-he promotes the " Jesus prayer " ( Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner), which in itself is not ad, but he writes that it has, " long been a foundation of the eastern Christian spirituality to help believers remain grounded and dependent on God throughout the day.

his sounds quite grounded in mysticism and very differen to what those in Roman Catholicism and orthodox churches do, the repeating of a prayer simply to focus is quite meditative and not how Jesus teaches us to pray in the New Testament.• Furthermore in this chapter, the author states on page 132 that " detachment is the great secret of interior peace ".

his is also not supported in the Bible.In chapter 9, on page 180, the author quotes Jean Vanier saying, " Love is, 'to fin the beauty of another person to themselves' " and ays that " Jesus did this that with each person he met ".

Love does not just mean to reveal the beauty of another person to themselves, it wil ofte be helping someone to see that they re hardly doing what they hould, telling the truth in love, for example.The author further states that, " out of our contemplative time with God, we, too, are asked to be prayerfully present to people, revealing their beauty to themselves " pg 180.

If we an go around and reveal people 's " beauty " to them, then how are they going to see that they need God? The author late states that " Jesus refused to separate the practice of the presence of God from the ractice of the presence of people.

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She knows my TBR list is long so she is ften patient with me on hese things, and I wan obviousl hate to feel pressure to read this book NOW.

Nothing really profound here, but encouragement for areas I was lready startin to pursue such as adding The Book of Common Prayer readings to my life.

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As a pries of th hurch, Scazzero was trying to lead through pure effort with no attention to his emotional life.

He lets a deeper look inside, acknowledging the reality of emotions as a normal part of he Christian life.

For Scazzero, I think rightly, the dark night is a normative part of he Christian life, though too often, people run from it, rather than toward it, uch to their detriment.

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he author obviousl uses the word “ sanctification ”, never defines discipleship, and eve alludes to the sovereignty of God.———A combination of a self help book and autobiography, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality is broken into two sections, the first xplaining the problem of emotionally unhealthy spirituality and the second prescribing the pathway to emotionally healthy spirituality.

Reading through this lens presents an incomplete picture of the rocess of sanctification.The book presents a “ radical truth…a simple but profound reality ”, referring to the oncept that emotional health and spiritual maturity are inseparable.

He states, “ …if we do the hard work of integrating emotional heath and spirituality, we can truly experience the wonderful promises God has given us—for our lives, churches, and communities.

Trading the call to walk by the Spirit to emphasizing emotional health, we re left to walking a fine line of a ort of prosperity gospel: follow the seven steps and you can be blessed.Scazzero employs the metaphor of an iceberg to illustrate that our deepest person is untouched by Jesus when we are emotionally immature.

his underscores the author ’ s limited understanding of the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers, and the sovereignty of God over all of His Creation.

( Ps. 139: 23-24/ 1Cor 2:10-11) We have not, and in no way can we limit God.In his description of the contemplative tradition and practices, it strikes me as thoroughly odd that we hav no given practical examples of this practice from the lives of monks and the likes of Mother Theresa.

Thi practice of monasticism is simply not prescribed in Scripture.The second part of this book reaks down the pathway to emotionally healthy spirituality into seven steps.

Valid point, but again strikes an odd chord.And here lies the biggest issue with Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: the ntire memoir is undergirded by personal experience rather than being based in Scripture and the book places too much stock in the practice of contemplative spirituality.

owever thi book raises a few good points that would probabl be elpful to readers who haven ’ t studied the topic of emotional health in respect to the Christian walk.

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It id not disappoint.Scazzero wants Christians to be " emotionally healthy. " He cknowledges that feelings can be fickle and heedlessly following our emotions is dangerous, but he also wants believers to be true to their feelings because they are part of who we are as being made in the image of God ( Jesus experienced the whole range of human emotions) and that restraining them is also dangerou.

Scazzero seeks to teach his readers how to grow maturely in relationship emotionally both with God and with other people.

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© Nicole Waggonner