Sometimes, as Christians, we have this notion that we’re always supposed to have a smile on our face, that we should be happy and joyful all the time. We think that if we allow ourselves to feel anger, sadness, or fear, we have somehow failed as followers of Jesus. That is simply not the case. These so-called negative emotions are in fact gifts from God. Just as physical pain is an indication that something is wrong or that we are pushing the limits of our bodies, so too these emotions help us to realize that something is wrong in the spiritual realm.
Many times anger or sorrow shines light on something that is off in the world around me, but just as often, these feelings point to something that is off in my heart. How we handle this has direct impact on our spiritual well being and our ability to love God and our neighbors. Whatever the particular situation, our emotions should drive us to our Creator, the giver of life and our source of true peace and healing.
Join us for Sunday School beginning in April as we dive deeper into the link between emotional health and spiritual maturity.
– Pastor Brandon
Excerpts from Emotionally Healthy Spirituality:
Most of us, in our more honest moments, will admit there are deep layers beneath our day-to-day awareness. As the illustration shows, only about 10 percent of an iceberg is visible to the eye. This 10 percent represents the visible change we make that others can see. We are nicer people, more respectful. We attend church and participate regularly. We “clean up our lives” somewhat – from alcohol and drugs to foul language to illicit behavior and beyond. We begin to pray and share Christ with others. But the roots of who we are continue unaffected and unmoved.
Contemporary spiritual models address some of that 90 percent below the surface. The problem is that a large portion remains untouched by Jesus Christ until there is a serious engagement with what I call “emotionally healthy spirituality.”
– Peter Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
Top 10 Symptoms of Emotionally Unhealthy Spirituality
- Using God to run from God
- Ignoring the emotions of anger, sadness, and fear
- Dying to the wrong things
- Denying the past’s impact on the present
- Dividing our lives into “secular” and “sacred” compartments
- Doing for God instead of being with God
- Spiritualizing away conflict
- Covering over brokenness, weakness, and failure
- Living without limits
- Judging other people’s spiritual journey