Peter Scazzero's work, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality is spot on for contemporary churches and ministries. Radically, our churches, in the African American religious experience especially, should wrestle with the inquiry of how emotionally healthy is our spirituality? Relevant to the question of faith and emotional wellness is the need for discipleship development in the area of emotional health. Modern believers struggle with pressures of transitioning a new christian life, separating biblical truth from years of cultural practice and living with a saved soul and unhealed emotions. Many try to perfect spirituality through religion while ignoring the condition of their emotional lives. Emotions, are natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood or relationships with others. The role of the Holy Spirit in emotionally healthy spirituality is to equip the believer with tools to integrate heaven and earth within one's soul- producing a transformed life in spirit, soul and body.
Emotions play humongous roles in relationships. As practitioners of faith, we must not only celebrate the salvation of the soul, but advocate for its healing. The nature of our emotions are mirrored in the those we choose to do life with. Whether personal, professional or in community, we attract what we are or are not. I'm convinced that our emotional health maybe a reflection of God's importance to us. He is only as important to me as I am to myself. We project our soulish intellect, emotions and will on God. There are times that the concept or reality of God is senseless to us emotionally, illogical cognitively or irrational behaviorally because we only discern Him from our current state of reality.
Developing our emotional intelligence requires the ability to grow our awareness and standing firm on our foundational beliefs. Emotional intelligence is sharpest when we choose to slow down our lives and discover ourselves and rediscover God's grace which empowers us to live in unity with Him.
Church people deal with real life in real time. Their struggles are more emotional than spiritual. Sure, we can theorize that all our soulish issues of will, intellect and emotions emanate from demonic strategies designed to dwarf our spiritual growth. But we have to admit that a majority of our life issues come from a hole in the soul. We pile our emotional baggage on top of an undeveloped spiritual life and find ourselves living imbalanced and empty lives and ultimately, leave the church.
“What went wrong? They were sincere followers of Jesus Christ, but they struggled as much as anyone else with their marriages, divorces, friendships, parenting, singleness, sexuality, addictions, insecurities, drive for approval, and feelings of failure and depression at work, church, and home. They saw the same patterns of emotional conflict inside the church as outside. What was wrong with the church?” -Peter Scazzero.
I believe the church is the living expression of the kingdom of God fully equipped to facilitate God's forgiveness, redemption and reconciliation between God and man and man with man. Some church goers and infrequent attenders quit on their faith. Their expectations of faith compared with their current realities aren't equal. Disappointed and frustrated with life on life's terms in and out of church causes many to leave the faith dejected and others to stay but passively participate.
These struggles of emotionality and spirituality have existed since the fall of man in the garden of Eden. Struggles create suffering in the emotional man. The physical man will carry out the emotional man's desire if his spiritual man is not strong. Emotional maturity coupled with biblical instruction strengthens the spiritual man. The soul and body should follow the spirit's leadership. Too often, this is not the case. Once we are properly aligned: spirit, soul and body we will live in peace and harmony with God and humanity.
We'll explore this subject and other aspects of being emotionally healthy through a eight week course by Peter Scazzero later this fall. Our hope is to lead others into deeply trans formative relationships with God by developing our emotional wellness. Scazzero's contemplative spirituality of slowing down and being with God will be our first step. I invite you to join us.
Many people are afraid to disrupt their life rhythm with reflective meditation and purposeful inactivity. It forces them to sit in life and make assessments of their emotional health and emotional community. Its not pretty. Sorting through comparisons, disappointments, missed moments and stuff will recall past difficulty and demand present solutions. I challenge you to ask the hard questions of how did we arrive at our current emotional station and is our emotional community healthy?
What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the space of life? Specifically, what's its role in our emotional wellness? The baptism in the Holy Spirit is designed to equip us with physical discipline, emotional wellness and spiritual authority for life's effectiveness. We all need to deeply reflect, contemplate, slow down and be emotionally aware in order to be spiritually healthy.
How emotionally healthy is your spirituality?
Let's talk about it.
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