Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
Part 1: The Problem
Our outer life should be a reflection of our inner life. Who we are on the outside should match what is on the inside. However, many mistakenly believe they are doing fine, even if their relational life and interior world are not in order. This apparent “progress” then provides a spiritual reason for not doing the hard work of maturing. We need God to heal and transform our entire being.
Part 3: Becoming Your Authentic Self
When we deny our pain, losses, and feelings year after year, we become less and less human. We transform slowly into empty shells with smiley faces painted on them. We have not learned how to acknowledge our true feelings or how to express them healthily. Therefore we ignore what is going on inside and express them in unhealthy ways.
Part 5: Surrendering to Your Limits
Most of us have to figure out how to handle and deal with pain, grief and loss on our own. Most of us experience serious pain, loss and grief as children and teens. Unconsciously, however, we carry many defense maneuvers into adulthood to protect ourselves from pain. We have been hurt before so we don’t want to be hurt again so we put up our defenses. Putting up a wall is not dealing with our pain and loss it is actually magnifying it.
God extends his hands with a gift for you. It’s a gift where you get filled up again. It is a gift where you are refreshed and renewed. It’s a gift where you can stop striving and just be. We no longer have to be in bondage to finding our value and worth in our possessions or accomplishments.
Part 2: The First Step
Going back in order to go forward is something we must do in the context of community – with mature friends, a mentor, spiritual director, counselor, or therapist. We all have a past. We all have family history. No one is perfect. But God has made a way for us to go forward. We venture back… not to relive the shame, hurt, condemnation, pain, rejection, etc. But to face it in light of God’s truth, in the grace of His forgiveness, by faith.
Part 4: Letting Go of Power and Control
Every Christ follower has to go through a season where God feels distant, and disinterested. During this season, our faith is stretched, the spotlight is focused on us internally and we discover who we really are in Christ. When we hit the wall spiritually, we learn who we are emotionally. We either give up or we grow up.
Part 6: Learning to Breathe Daily
God wants us to develop a daily rhythm of relationship. He knows the cares of life become too great. He knows the temptations to put our identity in many others things than Him is strong. He knows we often feel too weak or overwhelmed. He invites us into a daily rhythm of relationship where we simply spend time with Him. The amazing reality is when we spend time with Him daily and seek Him first, the other needs are taken care of.
Emotionally maturity has nothing to do with the amount of knowledge we have about God or the Bible. Emotionally healthy adults have learned how to love well. Our ability to love others in the midst of disagreements, conflict and challenging circumstances reveals the level of our emotional maturity.