Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

I’ve recently re-opened a book I read in seminary written by Peter Scazzero. The book’s title is Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: It’s Impossible to be Spiritually Mature While Remaining Emotionally Immature. Scazzero’s main point throughout the book is simple enough: humans cannot obtain spiritual health without also obtaining emotional health. Much more could be said about this, but for now I want to leave you with some food for thought. In the second chapter, Scazzero lists what he sees as the top 10 symptoms of emotionally unhealthy spirituality. Here is that list (see pp. 24-37):

1. Using God to run from God.

2. Ignoring the emotions of anger, sadness, and fear.

3. Dying to the wrong things.

4. Denying the past’s impact on the present.

5. Dividing our lives 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.

Do any of the items on this list strike you or possibly rub you in the wrong way? Maybe your emotional health needs some work. Never considered the importance of emotional health in your overall spiritual health? Maybe this book is for you.

It’s started me down a path from which I’ll never return.

The Condition of Human Pursuit

(This was the original post after I renamed my blog. Before this cite bore my name, it was called “Pursuit”.  I had one other blog before “Pursuit” hosted by blogger. I’m not sure what that blog was called. While I still agree with the sentiment of this post, I’m sure I would write it differently or not at all today. There is something about this post that is just boring… Why write a blog post about the named of a blog? Why not just start writing?… I guess I needed something to write…)

As humans we all pursue something.

The question is, what?

For many in our culture, fame is a noble pursuit; the desire for the masses to know your name. To be honest, this is also a pursuit of mine.  Even though I package it up nicely as this goal of wanting to be influential in as many peoples’ lives as possible, it is still a pursuit to be famous.  For people to hear my name and know who I am.

For others, their pursuit may look different.  Maybe they pursue money.  Maybe it is love… or happiness.  I believe happiness is the root of all of our pursuits.  Even though they manifest themselves in different forms, all appear to be connected to happiness.

When you stop and think about it for a second, it is interesting that all of our goals and desires come down to the desire for happiness.  However, as those who have reached their “desired goal” can testify, once you get the fame or the money or the love, you want more.  When is there enough?  Well… never, seems to be the answer that our society tells us.  Those with fame want more.  The richest men and women in the world want more.  Men and women in love aren’t happy with one lover so many go outside of the relationships hoping that they will find “real, lasting” love there.  All our pursuits find their root in happiness and our happiness seems to feed off of the want for more.  Once we have gotten the more, we want even more than before.  Weird how that works, right?

What it all comes down to is this, our pursuit of happiness is an epidemic.  We are slowly destroying ourselves and the world around with our need for more.  This isn’t just a people problem either.  The church also suffers twisted pursuits.

What is my point?

To give some new direction to our pursuits.

I believe that we were created to pursue happiness, happiness found in community.  Community with one another and our creator.

I write to point us towards this community of love and affirmation.

Within this blog you will see me post on many different things but my goal is always to move towards the cross and our pursuit for knowing our creator more.

Please join me.