In last week’s article, Coaching Leaders Around Emotionally Healthy Spirituality—Part 1, we talked about the link between emotional health and spiritual maturity. Drawing on pastor and author Peter Scazzero’s book, The Emotionally Healthy Church, we covered three of six principles:
- Principle 1: Look beneath the surface
- Principle 2: Break the power of the past
- Principle 3: Live in brokenness and vulnerability
Principles of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
Today we will cover the final three principles:
Principle 4: Receive the Gift of Limits
“Emotionally healthy people understand the limits God has given them,” Scazzero writes. “Jesus apparently joyfully embraced the limits given him by his Father in heaven.”
Jesus lived the life He was meant to live not the life others expected him to live. Notice that he did not heal every sick person who came to him, nor did he bow to the demands of the people around him. Jesus did only what the Father told Him (John 8:28). He served not out of his own initiative, but from the Father’s initiative (John 8:28).
How can we better support our clients in discovering the lives they were meant to live? What areas of your life need to come in alignment with God’s purpose for you?
Principle 5: Embrace Grieving and Loss
“We all experience sorrows and are invited to grieve and grow through them,” the author explains. Scazerro suggests learning from David’s response to grief and loss as a model, breaking it down into three distinct phases: paying attention, living in the confusing in-between, and allowing the old to birth the new.
While most of us are familiar with the first two phases, I’ve found very few people who intentionally pursue the birth of something new after a loss. Yet, it was precisely when I pursued a new beginning after a series of losses that I moved out of my career into my calling. After receiving a diagnosis of several inflammatory, autoimmune diseases, I lost my career, my identity as a “get-it-done” kind of woman, and even some of my friends. But in the giving up of my career, I discovered my calling — as a writer, coach, and spiritual director.
How well do you embrace grieving and loss? What new beginnings are waiting to be discovered? How can you, as a coach, assist your clients in the birth of new dreams and vision after loss?
Principle 6: Make Incarnation Your Model for Loving Well
Our goal as Christians and coaches is to incarnate Jesus in our interactions with others. Jesus understood how to be fully present with people, listening not only to what was said but what was left unsaid. He certainly understood powerful questions. Consider just a few: “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15) “What are you thinking in your hearts?” (Luke 5:22)
As coaches, we should seek to incarnate Jesus in our interaction with our clients. We are to love and listen well, to refrain from “fixing” people, and to avoid judging others. We are to ask powerful questions and then make space for our clients to hear from the Holy Spirit.
God alone is the expert for our clients’ lives—not us. We are experts in the process and conduits of grace.
How well do you incarnate Jesus to your clients? How would you rate your listening skills? What needs to change?
We can glean a lot from these six principles as we coach clients around issues related to faith and leadership. Which of these principles will you implement in your next coaching session?
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