More Excerpts and Summaries from Peter Scazzero’s book, “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.”
6. Doing for God instead of Being with God.
I have often wondered if having lots of programs and activities were the best thing for a church. If we are expected to be at the building 4 days a week, how will that affect our living of our faith in the world. Scazzero deals with the tendency to emphasize and value activity to the neglect of relationship with God/Jesus. I have known Christians and churches who emphasize the work of evangelism so much above the work of sanctification or even discipleship. And the results can big churches full of eternally immature Christians. But with all the people and all the activity, it’s hard to see the downside.
“Praying and enjoying God’s presence for no other reason than to delight in him was a luxury, I was told, that we could take pleasure in once we got to heaven.”
“But work for God that is not nourished by a deep interior life with God will eventually be contaminated by other things such as ego, power, needing approval of and from others, and buying into the wrong ideas of success and the mistaken belief that we can’t fail.”
The result in Scazzero’s eyes is that “our sense of worth and validation gradually shifts from God’s unconditional love for us in Christ to our works and performance.”
7. Spiritualizing Away Conflict
“…the belief that smoothing over disagreements or “sweeping them under the rug” is to follow Jesus continues to be one of the most destructive myths alive in the church today.”
Scazzero said that he personally was the great “peacemaker” who avoided conflict…”so I did what most Christians do: I lied a lot, both to myself and others.”
- blame or attack
- making promises we have no intention of keeping
- become sarcastic
- tell half the truth to no hurt someone’s feelings
- say yes when we mean no
When does too much activity in your life or in your church become a problem?
So, do you agree with the problem of “spiritualizing away conflict?” How do you handle conflict?