Skip to main content

(Review) Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: It's Impossible to Be Spiritually Mature While Remaining Emotionally Immature by Peter Scazzero

Publisher and Publication Date: Zondervan. 2006, 2014, 2017.
Genre: Christian nonfiction, spiritual growth.
Pages: 240.
Source: Free copy from Book Look Blogger/Zondervan/HarperCollins.
Rating: Very Good.

For more info. including an excerpt: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. 
Website for Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.
Facebook for Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.  

Amazon 

Several YouTube videos are available on the course, plus infomercials about the study itself.


The book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality is an updated edition. It was originally published in 2006. A Discipleship Course is available, this includes an eight session workbook and DVD.
Three more books on this topic: 
The Emotionally Healthy Church. 
The Emotionally Healthy Leader.
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day, A 40 Day Journey with the Daily Office.  
Zondervan page for the complete list of media.

Peter Scazzero states in the Introduction,
While the traditional approach typically focuses on providing helpful classes, engaging small groups, and ample opportunities to serve, the level of change in people's lives tends to be minimal. So is the impact. In contrast, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality books and resources are designed to help people experience beneath-the-surface transformation-spiritually and emotionally. Page 6.
Chapter 1, addresses the home life we grew up in (and Scazzero) and how it affected us. Even in the best of families, tragedies and sadness occur. He shares briefly about his own childhood and how He became a Christian. With the help of his wife, who brought his attention to a problem they had, he discovered there is a link between emotional maturity and spiritual maturity. He considered this pivotal moment a "revolution."
Page 22 lists, "the top ten symptoms of emotionally unhealthy spirituality:"
"1. Using God to run from God
2. Ignoring anger, sadness, and fear
3. Dying to the wrong things
4. Denying the impact of the past on the present
5. Dividing life into 'secular' and 'sacred' compartments
6. Doing for God instead of being with God
7. Spiritualizing away conflict
8. Covering over brokenness, weakness, and failure
9. Living without limits
10. Judging other people's spiritual journey"

Chapter 2, discusses the eight main emotional families.
Scazzero had been ignoring his emotions. It had never dawned on him that, "God might be speaking to me in the 'feeling' realm in a way that did not compromise His truth." Page 44.
He goes on to list several times Scripture revealed God's emotions. For example, Genesis 1:25, 31. Matthew 26:27-38.
I was glad he pointed out we tend to ignore emotions such as anger or sadness because they might be the "wrong" type of feeling.
When we deny our pain, losses, and feelings year after year, we become less and less human. We transform slowly into empty shells with smiley faces painted on them. Sad to say, that is the fruit of much of our discipleship in our churches. But when I began to allow myself to feel a wider range of emotions, including sadness, depression, fear, and anger, a revolution in my spirituality was unleashed. I soon realized that a failure to appreciate the biblical place of feelings within our larger Christian lives has done extensive damage, keeping free people in Christ in slavery. Page 44.
An important theme in the book is to know ourselves, to be an authentic person. He uses a new term and shows a chart so we can critique ourselves: differentiation.
The key emphasis of differentiation is on the ability to think clearly and carefully as another means, besides our feelings of knowing ourselves." Page 58. 
Scazzero lists four ways to help us know ourselves.

Chapter 3, discusses our past generations and how certain things are passed down. This was revealing to me. In this chapter, a "10 Commandments" of family is shown.

Chapter 4, is on control. In this chapter, a graph of the "Stages of Faith" is shown. Six stages are listed.

Chapter 5, addresses addiction. Addiction is a common way to deal with problems and stresses.

The final chapters listed:
"Chapter 6, Discover the Rhythms of the Daily Office and Sabbath (devotional and prayer time with God.)
Chapter 7, Grow into an Emotionally Mature Adult
Chapter 8, Go the Next Step to Develop a 'Rule of Life.'"

An aspect of the book I loved, is it is visually appealing in its teaching context. Thirteen black and white graphs and 44 separate lists are given. This is the style Scazzero uses. I feel it's a strong visual teaching tool.
The book is heavy on application. Self-tests are available to take. After the revealing answers, Scazzero teaches how to combat those weak areas in order to grow.

Chapter 6, reflects on having a daily time to read the Bible and pray. He points out the command to keep the Sabbath. Do not misuse this day.

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality is a book small groups or life groups can benefit from.

I don't consider this a "self-help" book published under a Christian publisher. This is a book on growing not just emotionally but spiritually, because we cannot be mature in any area unless we are mature spiritually. The only way we can grow is in God's Spirit.

An element of the book holds a word some people in the Christian community do not like. The word is "centering." When Scazzero uses this word he is referring to centering on Jesus Christ. We are not to center on any other thing. Our thoughts and focus and prayer is on God and His Word.

Scripture links courtesy of Bible Gateway.
 
  

Comments