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.