7.14.2010

Facing My Dragons: A Messiah Complex

Emotionally Healthy Church, TheI've been reading a great book by Peter Scazzero called The Emotionally Healthy Church: A Strategy for Discipleship That Actually Changes LivesThis book is at the same time causing tension for me and provoking me to move towards emotional health. He defines a few key areas of emotional maturity equally applicable church bodies, pastors, staff, and congregation. There is also a fun emotional inventory in the book to give the reader a better idea of their own emotional health.

I scored lowest in the area of Accepting Limitations as a Gift. On the surface it seems like a good thing to ignore limitations, to exceed one's weaknesses, to accomplish in spite of inadequate resources. For me that exemplifies the American "can-do" spirit! Peter Scazzero is not suggesting that we become pessimistic fatalists. I think he's saying that people need to acknowledge our weak spots and manage around them. To ignore weaknesses hints at a messiah complex. There is no way to be all things to all people, as a person or as a church. This book challenged me to discover what kind of person God's made me to be and what kind of Church he's put me in.

There are two strong things going on inside me lately. On one hand I'm fully embracing ambition to make my life count. The tricky part about this ambition is that it needs an appropriate focus! I will probably struggle with thinking that success is bigger, richer, and more famous. I don't like this part of my thinking, but I'm safer if I acknowledge that it's there. I want to live a life of significance with family, Church (big and little C), and community.

Are you aware of your limits? Do you embrace them as something to be welcomed so that God can be strong for you? What if a low self concept and a messiah complex are closely linked? If you are threatened by people saying what other people, pastors, youth groups, or churches do, then perhaps you have not learned who God has made you and your to be. This book is a great resource and I highly recommend it to those involved in spiritual formation of others or for those just wanting to grow. 

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