First, I came to understand that emotional maturity is our ability to handle our emotional life in a God-honouring way. God, after all, gave us emotions. Jesus, while on earth, expressed human emotions. If you doubt that, read the gospels. Unfortunately, most of us do not handle our emotional life in a way that honours God. We struggle with anger, insecurity, fear or envy. These emotions are often amplified, not by a present situation, but by some experience in our past.
Next I observed the reality that emotional and spiritual healing and growth can only happen in the right environment. It’s impossible to bring someone to a place where you haven’t been. I discovered that, as leaders, we need to re-establish churches as sanctuaries of hope. These safe places begin, not with policies and procedures, but within our own hearts.
In this context, all emotional and spiritual healing must happen in the context of community. In the context of relationship, we will look at the key issues individuals must address in order to become whole. These issues are the same whether the initial wound is sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, neglect, addiction, divorce, or a variety of other traumas.