Day 5: Those Two Are Made for Each Other – Part 1

“When emotional health and contemplative spirituality are interwoven together in an individual’s life, a small group, a church, a university fellowship or a community, people’s lives are dramatically transformed.  Together they unleash the Holy Spirit inside us in order that we might know experientially the power of an authentic life in Christ.”  – Pete Scazzero

Be Quiet.  Sit still and silent for one minute.  Let your mind be aware that God is present with you. Imagine Him smiling at you, delighted that you showed-up to be present with Him!  Breath slowly and relax.

Scripture.  “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.  One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:35-40

Meditation.  For the first several years of my adult relationship with Jesus, I gladly obeyed the call to weekly worship attendance, daily quiet time, regular Bible studies, tithing income, sharing my faith, and traveling to retreats and conferences.  All great stuff. I was learning to love God.  Yet my deep-rooted, dysfunctional patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving were heaving beneath the surface, impeding my ability to love myself and others.  I had to look outside the church to find the emotional healing I needed; and I had to deal with the stigma in the church for doing so.

When our walk with Christ is largely about acclimating to church norms, we miss out on a lot.  A person can be a fantastic church person, and at the same time a lousy, miserable human.  Another person can be emotionally well-adjusted and decent to other people, yet have very little interest in knowing God.

According to Jesus, spiritual growth and emotional health are made for each other.  Pete Scazzero wrote this in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, “When emotional health and contemplative spirituality are interwoven together in an individual’s life, a small group, a church, a university fellowship or a community, people’s lives are dramatically transformed.  Together they unleash the Holy Spirit inside us in order that we might know experientially the power of an authentic life in Christ.” 

Question to Ponder.  How would your discipleship be different if you more fully integrated spiritual maturity with emotional health?

Connect with God.  Pray aloud:  Lord, I’ve learned wrongly to separate my spiritual growth (loving You) from my emotional health (loving others as myself).  Please heal this breach and make me wiser about Your ways.  Give me a new lens to see a clear picture of the whole Christ, making me a whole person.  Amen

 Connect with People.   Ask a Christian friend if and how their relationship with Jesus integrates spiritual maturity with emotional health.