Currently on my reading list are these books which I highly recommend -
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Pete Scazzero
Emotionally Healthy Women by Geri Scazzero
Both these books put succinctly what God has been teaching me here on our missionary journey - to put off the old self, put on the new self, walk in truth, be honest.
From Pete Scazzero's recent blog post:
"God calls us out of living a "pretend life" that accumulates as layers over us as a result of our families of origin and our culture. To find love, value, and worth, we often become people God never intended. Part of the gift of salvation in Christ is a deliverance from our false selves into our true selves in Christ, living out our unique "sealed orders" from Him.
Paul calls us "not to lie to one another" (Col. 3:9) which can be translated, "Don't be false with one another." The following is the brief assessment I shared during the message.
The degree to which we are living out of our false, or pretend, self exists on a continuum that ranges from mild to severe. We are all in process, including myself. Use the simple assessment below to get an idea of where you fall on the continuum. Note each one that describes you.
- I am reluctant to admit my weaknesses and flaws to others.
-I look for the approval of others more than I should
- I am highly "offendable" and defensive when people criticize me.
-I often become harsh and impatient when things are moving too slowly or my expectations are not met.
-I say "yes" when I would rather say "no".
-I beat myself up when I make mistakes.
-I have difficulty speaking up when I disagree or prefer something different.
-I have a number of people I am struggling to forgive.
-My fears often cause me to play it safe "just in case."
-My body is more often in a state of tension and stress than relaxed.
If you checked two or three statements, you may be living out of your false self at times. If you checked four to five, you probably have a moderate case of pretending to be somebody you are not. If you checked six or more, you want to receive this as a gentle wake up call to a deeper journey with Jesus!