Help people reconcile emotional and spiritual maturity.
Peter Scazzero has updated his classic, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: It’s Impossible to Be Spiritually Mature, While Remaining Emotionally Immature.
The author, whose original text was published a decade ago, remains amazed at how this subject has been used worldwide. The EHS (Emotionally Healthy Spirituality) course includes a workbook, a DVD, and an eight-week devotional. Scazzero’s message is that when people grow deeper, heal, and change, they become the change that impacts the world.
He says 85 percent of Christians in churches today are stuck in their relationship with God because they don’t understand that to be spiritually mature one must be emotionally mature. “The result is that we have large numbers of people in our churches who read the Bible, serve, attend on Sundays but are not very loving people—especially under stress and when in conflicts,” Scazzero says.
Frequently, individuals wrongly believe that once they begin their new life in Christ their family of origin will hold no sway on their lives. Not true, says Scazzero. “Jesus may be in your heart, but grandpa is in your bones. Salvation is by pure grace. It is a gift of God. The Israelites were brought out of Egypt by grace and made God’s people. It took the desert, and many years, for them to unlearn 400 years of slavery and learn to live as God’s new people. In the same way, we are saved by Jesus. Discipleship (which He assures us is marked by the cross), is the pathway for all of us so ‘grandpa is removed from our bones’ and we learn to live in the new family of Jesus.”
Christ followers must also recognize the value of pain as a pathway to genuine healing and growth. As the author reminds Christians, God uses pain to bring believers to a place where they are compelled to change because staying where they are is far worse. “Most, if not all, biblical characters grow through pain and crisis. Why? These things break our self-will, our self-sufficiency, our tendency to want to run the world. They break us and cleanse us. I call them ‘Walls’ in the EHS books, seeing them as keys to a mature transformed life in Jesus. Understanding them as gifts from God enables us to experience peace and joy in the process, and cooperate more fully with Him rather than resist Him.”
Scazzero encourages those in the “Wall” that if they remain faithful to Jesus when their feelings are gone, they will grow in incalculable ways. They will learn to follow Jesus and not their ever-changing emotions.
— Michele Howe