Derwin Gray Gives Five Reflections on Emotionally Unhealthy Spirituality

Derwin L. Gray
Derwin L. Gray

In the midst of serving your local church or ministry, it’s easy to focus on the ministry instead of focusing on Jesus’ ministry in and to me.

When we shift this focus, we can become spiritually and emotionally unhealthy. The work we do for God begins to kill the work God does in us.

A few years ago, I read a great book on this topic by veteran pastor Dr. Pete Scazzero called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. In it he wrote about several symptoms of emotionally unhealthy spirituality. Let’s look at a few of his descriptions that you may recognize in your own life and ministry.

Using God to run away from God

Often in ministry, we can begin to find ultimate joy and satisfaction in doing ministry, instead of Jesus himself. When this happens idolatry develops. Instead of worshiping Jesus, we worship the ministry Jesus has called us to. Ultimately this will erode our souls.

Ignoring the emotions of anger, sadness, and fear

If we don’t allow Jesus to deal with our anger, sadness, and fear, these negative emotions will deal with us and with those we lead. We will become toxic with unresolved emotions, and this poison will hurt people and jeopardize our leadership effectiveness.

Justification, the act whereby God imparts the very righteousness of Jesus to his people, happens the moment we place our faith in Jesus (Phil. 3:8–9). But sanctification takes a lifetime. We may come into ministry with gaping wounds that bleed anger, sadness, and fear. Through the Spirit’s power we must disciple ourselves to take these emotions to Jesus knowing that his grace is sufficient.

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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Derwin L. Gray

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