Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

Adapted from Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
by Peter Scazzero


To get out of our ruts and into a healthy spirituality, it is essential to clearly identify the primary symptoms of emotionally unhealthy spirituality-the patterns of thought and behavior that dig the ruts in the first place and then wreak havoc in our personal lives and our churches.

In short order, here are the top symptoms of emotionally unhealthy spirituality:

  1. Using God to run from God
  2. Ignoring anger, sadness, and fear
  3. Dying to the wrong things
  4. Denying the impact of the past on the present
  5. Dividing life into “secular” and “sacred” compartments
  6. Doing for God instead of being with God
  7. Spiritualizing away conflict
  8. Covering over brokenness, weakness, and failure
  9. Living without limits
  10. Judging other people’s spiritual journey
  11. Cultural issues, histories and biases

Spiritualizing away conflict:

So, what do you do when faced with the tension and mess of disagreements Some of us may be guilty of one or more of the following:

  • Say one thing to people’s faces and then another behind their backs
  • Make promises we have no intention of keeping
  • Blame
  • Attack
  • Give people the silent treatment
  • Become sarcastic
  • Give in because we are afraid of not being liked
  • “Leak” our anger by sending an email containing a not-so subtle criticism
  • Tell only half the truth because we can’t bear to hurt a friend’s feelings
  • Say yes when we mean no
  • Avoid and withdraw and cut off
  • Find an outside person with whom we can share in order to ease our anxiety