- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan; Updated edition (April 25, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0310348498
- ISBN-13: 978-0310348498
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 405 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: It's Impossible to Be Spiritually Mature, While Remaining Emotionally Immature Paperback – International Edition, April 25, 2017
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About the Author
Peter Scazzero is the founder of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York City, a large, multiracial church with more than seventy-three countries represented. After serving as senior pastor for twenty-six years, Pete now serves as a teaching pastor/pastor at large. He is the author of two bestselling books—The Emotionally Healthy Church and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. He is also the author of The EHS Discipleship Course and two devotional books. Pete and his wife, Geri, are the founders of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, a groundbreaking ministry that equips churches in a deep, beneath-the-surface spiritual formation paradigm. For more information, visit emotionallyhealthy.org or connect with Pete on Twitter @petescazzero.
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As a pastor for the past thirty years In four different churches I have seen many elderly people who have been Christians for many years, but instead of being mature emotionally, many of these people have simply plateaued at the age of 10, 20, or 30 and have lived stuck in their immaturity emotionally for years. Instead of being Christians for sixty years it's more like they have lived for sixty years as a ten-year-old Christian.
In this book Scazzero addresses the emotional make-up of people using a plethora of biblical and practical applications. He also draws on historical figures that have much to say about biblical emotions. He also addresses the ramifications of generational sin, familial dysfunctions, and cultural distractions that get between us and our walk with God.
The first seven chapters primarily deal with the problems associated with emotionally unhealthy spirituality and the last three chapters give hope through solutions. Using a variety of spiritual disciplines and personal examples Scazzero helps the Christian identify emotional unhealthiness and easy cures based on the Scriptures. For anyone who is passionate about transformation, liberation from bondage, and following in the steps of Christ this book is a must read. It's extremely beneficial to read this book in a small group along with the workbook and DVD that are based on this book. I have taken five groups of men through this book and several of the men have described this book as "revolutionary," "paradigm-shifting," and "life-transforming."
I highly recommend Scazzero's books be read along with their workbooks in small groups (men with men; and women with women) for maximum transparency, accountability, and transformation into the likeness and image of Christ.
As a pastor of a church, Scazzero was trying to lead through pure effort with no attention to his emotional life. Only when his relational life began to fray at the edges did he begin to take a closer look at emotion. At the outset of the book, he identified 10 symptoms of emotionally unhealthy spirituality that serve as a useful diagnostic tool.
Once we understand our emotional feebleness, Scazzero spends the later half of the book talking about what to do about. He encourages a deeper look inside, acknowledging the reality of emotions as a normal part of the Christian life. I particularly appreciated chapter 6, which dealt with the concept of a dark night of the soul, an issue too frequently ignored in the Christian life. For Scazzero, I think rightly, the dark night is a normative part of the Christian life, though too often, people run from it, rather than toward it, much to their detriment.
Near the end of the book, he encourages the practice of two specific disciplines--the daily office and the Sabbath--to grow in our understanding of God and understanding of self. Attention to God and delighting in his creation are essential practices that we too often hurry past.
On the whole, I think this is very beneficial book. It is a relatively easy read, but if you read it, take your time and ponder what the author has to say. He writes with lists and bullet points, which many people will find desirable, though don't believe that represents naive ideas that can be cast aside quickly.
From the looks of it, the Scazzeros have mined this space as thought leaders and are releasing books and workshops around specific demographics now (leaders, church, women, etc.). This might be a “Chicken Soup of the Soul” in the Christianity realm.
However, I don’t want to diminish the real value offered in his first book, “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.” (I haven’t read the other books.) As Scazzero shrewdly points out, when the bricks-and-mortar church encourages its members to repress emotions in favor of spirituality, members find themselves wondering what they’re supposed to get out of church that’s different from the rest of the culture. True healing can’t happen, he also argues, if we keep using Biblical platitudes to repress our emotions.
These are compelling arguments — so compelling in fact that it’s easy to understand why the book became a bestseller. Both of these resonated with me, certainly, as I grew up in a church that demanded I repress my emotions in favor of pithy theological statements and budgetary efficiencies.
Where the book failed to resonate was where it “westernized” Christian ideas like rest, offering the kinds of solution it had railed against earlier: that is, defining rest according to culture.
These hiccups pale in comparison, though, to the rest of the book, which invites its audience, using conversational language, to mature emotionally in the Christian walk.