I have read about many different methods for spiritual growth over the years. Some authors ask their readers to study more. Others ask their readers to do more. Still others want extroverts to become introverts, which seems impossible. Scazzero challenges us to rethink the whole thing.
This book offers a new take on spiritual growth. It’s not merely more knowledge added to our mental database. It’s not five more things to do in order to become spiritually mature and probably more guilty in the meantime. Scazzero offers an integrated alternative to much teaching on spiritual formation.
People don’t grow the same spiritually, because everyone starts at a different place. Through the use of the genogram and listing childhood messages, Scazzero helps the reader come to terms with who they are and what they were given by their family. He offers many insightful exercises through both the hardcover book and the accompanying workbook and Leader Kit.
Scazzero directs his readers to pay attention to oft neglected or disregarded avenues of growth. He encourages readers to monitor their emotions. Rather than denying or feeling guilty over anger, depression or frustration, Scazzero challenges readers to lift up the hoods of their hearts and see where these feelings are coming from. Getting in touch with ones emotions and the cause of the emotions is just as important as connecting with God. After all, if we don’t know what we’re dealing with, then how can God help us?
Other avenues of growth include the daily office and practicing the Sabbath. The Daily Office or daily “work” are set prayer times that include silence, Scripture, a devotional, a question to think about, prayer, and more silence. Practicing silence is a rare exercise in Western evangelical Christianity. It’s not meditation or emptying one’s mind per se. Silence is quietly spending time with Abba Father, our God and Creator. God doesn’t require us to figure anything out or think about anything. We can pause and experience His presence and the world will continue. God cares more about us than what we do for Him.
Scazzero ties all of these practices together in the Rule of Life. The Rule of Life is similar to a trellis that directs a vine. This is the integration of all of these practices into one’s daily life.
As I have followed Scazzero’s teaching for over a year now, heard him speak in person, read his book and studied the workbook with a group, I am gradually implementing these practices into my own life. I have found a new calm and stability in my life. I feel more centered in my approach toward others and especially difficult situations. I can respond rather than react to most things these days. I highly recommend the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality book, workbook, Leader Kit, and website: emotionallyhealthy.org
I so appreciate your review of Pete’s books, etc. I’ve been a member of New Life Fellowship, of which Pete’s the Senior Pastor, for 5 years and it’s been a life-transforming experience for me. The best part of the material is that it’s real, applicable concepts rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m living proof of it. Thank you for spreading the word.
I became acquainted with Pete’s work when I was Executive Director at Lifetogether.com. We shared distribution for a while. I was able to meet him and enjoyed his training at the Saddleback Conference back in February 2010. I give your comments a hearty “Amen!” (I just wish he would write another Daily Office book soon).