Do You Have Emotionally Healthy Spirituality?

Recently I was at a conference and had the privilege of meeting author Peter Scazzero while attending the class he led on Emotionally Healthy Discipleship. I’d read his Emotionally Healthy Spirituality book years ago and gleaned so much wisdom and practical/spiritual insight from it, so I was really excited to hear more from him. (By the way, he’s currently working on writing The Emotionally Healthy Marriage. Can’t wait for that to be published!)

But back to EHS, I loved this book. It’s one of my all-time favorites. It helped me to become aware of many “unhealthy” areas in my spiritual life, which ultimately impacted the health of my relationships, in particular my marriage. In the book you’ll find …

The 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

Have you practiced any of these? If so, through this book you’ll learn practical ways to transform and strengthen the health of your spiritual relationship and life.

My husband and I were talking the other day about just how crucial a healthy and growing spiritual life is to the health of a marriage. I know for me, being established in healthy spiritual practices has …

  • Helped me to trust God and hang on tight when everything around me seems to be in chaos.
  • Given me the insight to recognize my own failures and sins and humbly confess them to God and my spouse.
  • Helped me to feel God’s comfort and nearness when I’ve felt alone in life and marriage.
  • Given me the grace I’ve needed to extend mercy and love to my husband—especially in times of conflict … just to name a few!

Dr. Scazzero has generously given me one copy of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality to give away to one of you! Yay!!! He’s also given me his wife, Geri’s, most recent book, The Emotionally Healthy Woman. I will be reading and reviewing her book before giving it away at a later time. So stay tuned for that giveaway in the future!

But for today, please leave a comment in my comment section to be entered to win. And if you haven’t already “liked” my Messy Marriage Facebook Page, I’d love for you to click here and do that as well!  Deadline for entering is Friday (7th) at midnight. (Please be aware that you’ll need to sign in to Disqus using your email to be entered as well. Otherwise, I won’t know how to contact you! 🙂

Added June 8th –
I’m excited to announce that “Becky” was our winner of the giveaway this time! She was selected through “Random Number Generator.” I always love giving books away and I’ve got many more giveaways in the near future, so if you didn’t win this time come on back for another try next time!

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Joining with NOBH, Marriage Monday, Works for Me Wednesday, To Love Honor and Vacuum and T.G.I.F.
 
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Come join our Wednesday Link-up!

  • Oh my counseling buddy, we sure are cut from the same cloth … http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2008/07/10-killers-of-genuine-mature-community.html

    I can’t wait to read the Scazzaros other books because the 2 Emotionally Healthy books I read were fabulous … real gamechangers for me!

    • That’s so good to know, Linda, but not really a surprise. We seem to resonate on so many things, sweet friend. I do wish you lived close enough to go get a cup of coffee. Maybe someday! 🙂 I agree on the Scazzero books–“gamechanger” is a good word for it! Love ya!

  • Oh my counseling buddy, we sure are cut from the same cloth … http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2008/07/10-killers-of-genuine-mature-community.html

    I can’t wait to read the Scazzaros other books because the 2 Emotionally Healthy books I read were fabulous … real gamechangers for me!

  • Oh, Beth, I sure see myself in a few of those things on the unhealthy list. I am ALWAYS challenged when I stop by here. Thank you. I’m adding this book to my summer reading list! (And crossing my fingers that I’ll win a copy!) 🙂 Thanks for hosting WW.

    • Maybe you’ll be the lucky winner, Alicia. I love giving away books I love to those who’ve not discovered that particular treasure yet. It will open your eyes and deepen your faith, my friend. Hugs to you!

  • Alicia Bruxvoort

    Oh, Beth, I sure see myself in a few of those things on the unhealthy list. I am ALWAYS challenged when I stop by here. Thank you. I’m adding this book to my summer reading list! (And crossing my fingers that I’ll win a copy!) 🙂 Thanks for hosting WW.

  • Nan

    I have never heard of his book but it sounds wonderful! Thanks for the giveaway (I already like your fb page) and thanks for hosting!

    • I’m so excited to see you in the comment section, Nan! I guess it worked for you this time around. I hate that you’ve had problems with it. Hopefully I’ll be moving to a self-hosted WordPress site in July, so maybe some of these bugs will get worked out! 🙂

      As far as the book’s concerned, it is a great read. One that, even if you don’t win it, I hope you pick up soon. Thanks so much for your sweet friendship and support here!

  • Nan

    I have never heard of his book but it sounds wonderful! Thanks for the giveaway (I already like your fb page) and thanks for hosting!

  • Mia

    Dear Beth
    For a long time in my life, I could answer yes to nearly all those questions and I was so unhappy! Until I realized that I was labouring heavily under the yoke of religion! I had my own set of “10 commandments” which I judged everyone around with, including myself. Oh, you can just think how wonderful it was when I finally heard Jesus calling me to just come to Him and rest in Him.
    Much love and sweet blessings
    Mia

    • Yes, based upon the post I read over at your place, I think you’ve certainly gained great insight and wisdom into the pitfalls of too much religion and not enough Jesus! 🙂 I’m so glad you are freed from that burden, Mia. Thanks for being such a constant encourager in my life as well!

  • Mia

    Dear Beth
    For a long time in my life, I could answer yes to nearly all those questions and I was so unhappy! Until I realized that I was labouring heavily under the yoke of religion! I had my own set of “10 commandments” which I judged everyone around with, including myself. Oh, you can just think how wonderful it was when I finally heard Jesus calling me to just come to Him and rest in Him.
    Much love and sweet blessings
    Mia

  • Hmmm…every single one of those bullet points intrigues me. I’ve never considered using God to run from God, for example. I must know more! Hope I win…but if not, I’ll go get the book anyway. 🙂

    • Yes, that particular one does sound crazy, but can be so very true. It really is a great book, Becky. I know that especially you would find it to be a page-turner! Thanks for flashing your sweet smile in this place, my friend!

  • Hmmm…every single one of those bullet points intrigues me. I’ve never considered using God to run from God, for example. I must know more! Hope I win…but if not, I’ll go get the book anyway. 🙂

  • I have a difficult time with each of the even numbered bullet points. Emotions are so hard to deal with…or to figure out! Looks like a great book, thanks for sharing!

    • I’d have to say those have been troubling to me on occasion as well. I think you’d really like this book, Maurie, especially since emotions are hard for you to deal with. Peter really brings clarity to the subject–especially since he speaks from a place of brokenness himself. This is no “clinical look” at emotions or spirituality, although it is packed with truth and deep insight. He speaks about it from a very personal point of view. Thanks so much for sharing so openly, sweet girlfriend!

  • I have a difficult time with each of the even numbered bullet points. Emotions are so hard to deal with…or to figure out! Looks like a great book, thanks for sharing!

  • Heather Spooner

    This book sounds awesome. Thanks, Beth!
    miyax15 at yahoo dot com

    • Thanks for entering the giveaway, Heather! It’s a great read and maybe one that will be headed your way soon!

  • Heather Spooner

    This book sounds awesome. Thanks, Beth!
    miyax15 at yahoo dot com

  • Read this two years ago at the beach, so now you have put me in vacation mode! This is a great book that I’d recommend in a heartbeat. Some of the books referenced are fantastic. So much I could say about spirituality and the depths that has brought to my discipleship. Thanks Beth!

    • Ahh, I thought you’d be a fan of his. So much of what you write about seems to resonate with this topic. Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me, as always!

  • Read this two years ago at the beach, so now you have put me in vacation mode! This is a great book that I’d recommend in a heartbeat. Some of the books referenced are fantastic. So much I could say about spirituality and the depths that has brought to my discipleship. Thanks Beth!

  • That’s so good to know, Linda, but not really a surprise. We seem to resonate on so many things, sweet friend. I do wish you lived close enough to go get a cup of coffee. Maybe someday! 🙂 I agree on the Scazzero books–“gamechanger” is a good word for it! Love ya!

  • Maybe you’ll be the lucky winner, Alicia. I love giving away books I love to those who’ve not discovered that particular treasure yet. It will open your eyes and deepen your faith, my friend. Hugs to you!

  • I’m so excited to see you in the comment section, Nan! I guess it worked for you this time around. I hate that you’ve had problems with it. Hopefully I’ll be moving to a self-hosted WordPress site in July, so maybe some of these bugs will get worked out! 🙂

    As far as the book’s concerned, it is a great read. One that, even if you don’t win it, I hope you pick up soon. Thanks so much for your sweet friendship and support here!

  • Yes, based upon the post I read over at your place, I think you’ve certainly gained great insight and wisdom into the pitfalls of too much religion and not enough Jesus! 🙂 I’m so glad you are freed from that burden, Mia. Thanks for being such a constant encourager in my life as well!

  • Yes, that particular one does sound crazy, but can be so very true. It really is a great book, Becky. I know that especially you would find it to be a page-turner! Thanks for flashing your sweet smile in this place, my friend!

  • I’d have to say those have been troubling to me on occasion as well. I think you’d really like this book, Maurie, especially since emotions are hard for you to deal with. Peter really brings clarity to the subject–especially since he speaks from a place of brokenness himself. This is no “clinical look” at emotions or spirituality, although it is packed with truth and deep insight. He speaks about it from a very personal point of view. Thanks so much for sharing so openly, sweet girlfriend!

  • Thanks for entering the giveaway, Heather! It’s a great read and maybe one that will be headed your way soon!

  • Ahh, I thought you’d be a fan of his. So much of what you write about seems to resonate with this topic. Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me, as always!

  • Christina Murphy :)

    Thank you for your blog-inistry! Sounds like an amazing book that would apply to me as I aspire to be a Biblical counsellor one day if God calls me and my husband who is embarking on becoming a Deacon and training to be an elder. Thank you for recommending this!

    • Yes, I think it would be a great resource for you, Christina. My prayers go with you as you endeavor to follow God’s calling on your life. Even if you don’t win it, I hope you’ll check it out sometime. Thanks for your sweet words too. I appreciate the encouragement!

  • Christina Murphy :)

    Thank you for your blog-inistry! Sounds like an amazing book that would apply to me as I aspire to be a Biblical counsellor one day if God calls me and my husband who is embarking on becoming a Deacon and training to be an elder. Thank you for recommending this!

  • Yes, I think it would be a great resource for you, Christina. My prayers go with you as you endeavor to follow God’s calling on your life. Even if you don’t win it, I hope you’ll check it out sometime. Thanks for your sweet words too. I appreciate the encouragement!

  • bluecottonmemory

    I’m looking for a book for a small group – and I think this would be something to look into – I like the parts about not covering up weakness and ignoring the past – both can become mighty things for God:) Can’t wait to read it!

    • Oh, yes! You’d find it to be very helpful and insightful for a book study. Our church has used it for some of our small groups for many years. Thanks for entering the giveaway and linking up this week as well, my friend!

  • bluecottonmemory

    I’m looking for a book for a small group – and I think this would be something to look into – I like the parts about not covering up weakness and ignoring the past – both can become mighty things for God:) Can’t wait to read it!

  • Stacey

    I’m sure this goes without saying, but my relationship with Bryan would be nothing without God in the center. Not to imply that we are the epitome of emotional health, but God is the foundation that keeps us as healthy as we are!!

    • i know exactly what you’re saying, Stacey, because I wholeheartedly agree. Gary and I would not have made it through the crud and messes we’ve experienced, had God not been there to strengthen us and guide us. It’s a great and often rare thing to see these days. I’m so glad you and Bryan have that, girlfriend!

  • Stacey

    I’m sure this goes without saying, but my relationship with Bryan would be nothing without God in the center. Not to imply that we are the epitome of emotional health, but God is the foundation that keeps us as healthy as we are!!

  • libertybain

    This book sounds quite heart-provoking!

    • That’s a great way to put it! “Heart-provoking” – I like it! Thanks for commenting and maybe you’re “heart” will be provoked soon! 🙂

  • libertybain

    This book sounds quite heart-provoking!

  • You and your husband are spot on about healthy spirituality = healthy marriage. It is the compass for me and my husband as well. THanks for a great site! And thanks for the link up and CHANCE TO WIN! Blessings to you today 🙂

    • Yes, I noticed your terminology in your post, Sheila. I could tell we share that same heartbeat. I’m so glad you linked up too. It’s great to have you!

  • You and your husband are spot on about healthy spirituality = healthy marriage. It is the compass for me and my husband as well. THanks for a great site! And thanks for the link up and CHANCE TO WIN! Blessings to you today 🙂

  • oh, this discussion about healthy emotions related to spirituality is very close to my heart. so glad to see there are people writing about this. it is so needed.
    (also, Beth, i am thrilled to see how many people you’ve got linked here!! your ministry is really growing, friend! 🙂 )

    • Thanks, Kelli. It’s something that’s near and dear to my heart as well. And thanks for the pat on the back. I just try to stay focused on my purpose though–pointing to Christ and His healing. All the rest is just “icing.” 🙂

  • oh, this discussion about healthy emotions related to spirituality is very close to my heart. so glad to see there are people writing about this. it is so needed.
    (also, Beth, i am thrilled to see how many people you’ve got linked here!! your ministry is really growing, friend! 🙂 )

  • rboerner

    This looks like one I will need to add to my reading list. I am reading one right now about Spiritual Secrets to Weight Loss and it talks a lot about being spiritually healthy and Christ being the center of our focus. I have also noticed my marriage relationship changing in a positive way when I am healthy spiritually but in reading some of the symptoms of being unhealthy, I think I could use some refreshers. 🙂

    • You haven’t read this one? Oh, it’s great, Becky. I think you’ll love it! I see you living out many of the spiritual principles already. You’ve got a head start, my friend. Hope you’re a winner! Oh, but you are whether you win the book or not! 🙂

  • rboerner

    This looks like one I will need to add to my reading list. I am reading one right now about Spiritual Secrets to Weight Loss and it talks a lot about being spiritually healthy and Christ being the center of our focus. I have also noticed my marriage relationship changing in a positive way when I am healthy spiritually but in reading some of the symptoms of being unhealthy, I think I could use some refreshers. 🙂

  • “Dying to the wrong things” ,…now that’s something to think and chew on…

    “Doing for God instead of being with God” stands out to me immediately..cos it’s something I battle a lot of times. I am not where I used to be but it’s still one of those areas that i have to be intentional about, otherwise I go on Martha-mode quite easily!
    This sounds like a powerful book. Thanks for talking about it. Looking forward to hearing more on the wife’s book !

    • I can see that in you, Ngina. But that’s also one of the things I’ve come to admire about you–always giving and helping. And even though you might have a big dose of “Martha” in you, I also see an awful lot of “Mary” as well. You’re the best of both worlds, my friend. I know I say this to all the entrants, but I hope you win it! I sure wish I could give away one to everyone!

  • “Dying to the wrong things” ,…now that’s something to think and chew on…

    “Doing for God instead of being with God” stands out to me immediately..cos it’s something I battle a lot of times. I am not where I used to be but it’s still one of those areas that i have to be intentional about, otherwise I go on Martha-mode quite easily!
    This sounds like a powerful book. Thanks for talking about it. Looking forward to hearing more on the wife’s book !

  • Oh, yes! You’d find it to be very helpful and insightful for a book study. Our church has used it for some of our small groups for many years. Thanks for entering the giveaway and linking up this week as well, my friend!

  • i know exactly what you’re saying, Stacey, because I wholeheartedly agree. Gary and I would not have made it through the crud and messes we’ve experienced, had God not been there to strengthen us and guide us. It’s a great and often rare thing to see these days. I’m so glad you and Bryan have that, girlfriend!

  • That’s a great way to put it! “Heart-provoking” – I like it! Thanks for commenting and maybe you’re “heart” will be provoked soon! 🙂

  • Yes, I noticed your terminology in your post, Sheila. I could tell we share that same heartbeat. I’m so glad you linked up too. It’s great to have you!

  • Thanks, Kelli. It’s something that’s near and dear to my heart as well. And thanks for the pat on the back. I just try to stay focused on my purpose though–pointing to Christ and His healing. All the rest is just “icing.” 🙂

  • You haven’t read this one? Oh, it’s great, Becky. I think you’ll love it! I see you living out many of the spiritual principles already. You’ve got a head start, my friend. Hope you’re a winner! Oh, but you are whether you win the book or not! 🙂

  • I can see that in you, Ngina. But that’s also one of the things I’ve come to admire about you–always giving and helping. And even though you might have a big dose of “Martha” in you, I also see an awful lot of “Mary” as well. You’re the best of both worlds, my friend. I know I say this to all the entrants, but I hope you win it! I sure wish I could give away one to everyone!

  • Pam

    Beth, my unhealthy spiritual practice of choice is spiritualizimg away conflict . I don’t like conflict and generally have little of it. But in marriage it’s a staple , and I find that I just can’t grow (live ;). ) without it. Thanks for the reminder to enter into it? And thereby grow. Pam

  • Pam

    Beth, my unhealthy spiritual practice of choice is spiritualizimg away conflict . I don’t like conflict and generally have little of it. But in marriage it’s a staple , and I find that I just can’t grow (live ;). ) without it. Thanks for the reminder to enter into it? And thereby grow. Pam

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