Reviewed by Major Joanne Holz, Director, School for Leadership Development
“Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” by Peter Scazzero 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. (Goodread)
One of the clear directives of this material is helping the reader to recognize that what we appear to be, or what we see on the surface may not be the best indicator of where we are emotionally and spiritually. An emotionally healthy spirituality is driven by an ability and willingness to see what is hidden beneath the surface and to acknowledge how our past, our fears, our failures and our successes all play in to affecting the integrity of our Christian life. As the opening statement so clearly puts, spirituality without an integration of emotional health (and he defines emotional health by giving us a clear picture of “emotionally unhealthy”) can be deadly. And this book is a champion of honest, ongoing self-reflection of our own spiritual health that addresses not just how we see ourselves, but more importantly how God sees us, and how those two perceptions directly affect the other (that is, our perception of ourselves affects our perception of God, and likewise recognizing God’s perception of who we are has the power to affect our perception of ourselves… a circle that ultimately leads to an emotionally healthy spirituality). (An excerpt from a review of this book by Dave Courtney.)
There are materials that can be purchased for small group work, enhancing further study of this important leadership and discipleship concept. Check out more resources at www.emotionallyhealthy.org.