Friday, May 23, 2008
Deciding to Grow Up
I've just finished reading "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality", with the sub-title, "it's impossible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature". (author Peter Scazzero). How's that for a title! It was recommended to me by a deep-thinking friend, I had to order it from Barnes and Noble, and I almost gave up about half-way through. I'm glad I stuck with it.

It's not light stuff. The author writes out of his own pain, after his personal life pretty much fell apart. He's the senior pastor of a large church, and when his wife quit attending he decided he might need to make some changes. I'm not going to do a big re-cap or review of the book, but rather want to share some quotes. There are too many for one post, so I'll be back with more later.

"Emotional underdevelopment is not so obvious when we first meet people. Over time, as we become involved with them, that reality becomes apparent."

"Most people are either 'stuffers' or 'inflictors' of their anger."

"I never expected God to meet me through feelings such as sadness, depression, and anger."

"Most of us will not go forward until the pain of staying where we are is unbearable."

And last for today, this:

"We are not God. We cannot serve everyone in need. We are human. Jesus modeled this for us as a human being - he did NOT heal every sick person. He did not raise every dead person. He did not feed all the hungry beggars or set up job development centers for the poor of Jerusalem. He didn't do it, and we shouldn't feel we have to. But somehow we do. Why don't we take appropriate care of ourselves? Why are so many Christians, along with the rest of our culture, frantic, exhausted, over-loaded and hurried? Few Christians make the connection between love of self and love of others. Sadly, many believe that taking care of themselves is a sin, a 'psychologizing' of the gospel taken from our self-centered culture. I believed that myself for years. Parker Palmer said, "self-care is never a selfish act - it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.""

Amen, Parker. Amen Peter.

Heavy stuff. Good stuff.


  posted at 8:00 AM

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