“It’s impossible to be spiritually mature, while remaining emotionally immature.” This is the quote from the front of Peter Scazzero’s book, “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.”
Peter is the pastor of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York. He has discovered in his own life and in the lives of his congregants that Christians can be saved and yet not live very healthy spiritual lives. He says that many Christians invite Jesus into their lives, learn about discipleship and begin serving without ever addressing their own personal inward transformation.
He says that often we ignore our own feelings, such as anger, sadness and fear; we avoid conflict; we run from God; we die to the wrong things and we live without boundaries. He says the one big mistake that we make is denying the impact that the past has on the present. Our family of origins has a huge influence on our emotional health. If we do not address these root causes of emotional pain, we inhibit our ability to love others and live a healthy spiritual life. We need to break free of the destructive patterns that we have unconsciously learned from our families. Also, he points out the enormous influence of the world around us that contributes to our choices and not living the spiritual life that God has designed us to live. For exanple:
– Security is found in money, power, status and pleasure.
– Happiness is found in having things.
– God is irrelevant to everyday life.
– There are no moral absolutes; whatever is true for you is what
– Christianity is just one of many alternative spiritualities.
– I am what I do.
– I am what I have.
– I am what others think.
He says that all Christians need to “Journey Inward”, address the emotional pains, discover the lies and false messages that we have been living with and become transformed by Jesus’ truth and love. This Inward Journey of “sanctification” is the only way to truly know our True Selves In Christ. Then, we can “Journey Outward” having been transformed by God’s profound, deep and accepting love. Peter Scazzero brings emotional health and spiritual health together as he says, “Self-awareness and knowing what is going on inside of us is indispensable to emotional health and loving others well.”
I agree with what Peter has written in his book. Agape Healing International’s whole ministry has been focused on personal transformation of the mind and emotions as the springboard to “serving and loving others well.” The inner healing of the soul frees us to know our True Self In Christ, to know God’s “will” more clearly and to be able to love others unconditionally, without judgment and without our pride taking over. If you get a chance, go to article 36 on lovehealstv.com and look at the model showing how Jesus is at the center of the transformation process. Jesus came to set the captives free. Let us all journey inwards with Jesus’ help to know the truth that will set us free from past painful memories, current thinking that we struggle with and future imaginations of fear, anxiety and worry.