This is a very helpful book. Peter Scazzero draws from many different sources and presents their content in easily digestible form. The issues he deals with are very important ones for any Christian who wants to grow spiritually into the Christlike person that God intended him or her to be. The basic premise of the book is that it’s impossible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature (though it often does work the other way around). Those who want to grow spiritually must grow and maintain their emotional health. Lacking in this is at the root of the failure of many discipleship models being used in the church today.
After describing the problem and symptoms of emotionally unhealthy spirituality Scazzero gives us as an outline of a life that balances contemplative spirituality (consciously living one’s life in God’s presence) and our daily activity. Following that are several chapters on different aspects of reaching emotional and spiritual health: Accepting and understanding your emotions and understanding your “true self”. Healing the wounds of past experiences that hinder emotional and spiritual health. Dealing with the experience of your life hitting a “wall” in upheavals beyond your own control to remedy and the feeling that life has passed you by. Grieving over past mistakes and losses in life rather than trying to “stuff” them and pretend they no longer matter. The proper place of sabbath rest, recreation and refocusing on God throughout each day. Learning to love well. Developing a “Rule of Life” to help you be more conscious of, and intentional about, your spiritual and emotional growth.
This is a very good book for individuals and groups to spend significant time studying and applying. I also recommend the companion book by the same author, Begin the Journey with the Daily Office for those who have had trouble developing a habit for fixed times of prayer throughout the day. This book is a very good start and follows the themes in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. Very few people live well on one meal a day (even if it’s a large one). More small meals a day keep your body supplied better. The same is true of time spent with God.