Whenever I visit someone's home, I am always drawn to two things - people's pictures and the contents of their bookshelves. The same is true when sitting in any of the offices of the staff members at Brook Hills, and my Amazon wish list just gets longer and longer as a result. One such book that I saw one of our staff reading where I bypassed the wish list and went straight to order was Donald Whitney's Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health. The title itself intrigued me since I'm always looking for ways to grow personally and to better help the college girls I disciple. Having read his book on spiritual disciplines (which I also recommend), I knew Whitney's material is solid, and this book has been so timely with the girls I meet with.

As Whitney points out, we have ways to evaluate our physical health, but how often do we evaluate our spiritual health? Would you even know how to go about doing this? For a Christian to be spiritually healthy, they must be growing, and in this book, Whitney provides ten questions to help believers conduct a check-up on their soul. Examples of the questions include: Do you thirst for God? Are you more loving? Are you more sensitive to God's presence? Do you still grieve over sin?

The chapters each follow a similar outline of describing the focal question, presenting reasons for why a believer might not be growing in that area, and identifying what it would look like for a person to grow. I have recommended this book to several of the girls in my small group, and I commend it to you. The chapters aren't that long, and the book itself is short (about 130 pages) and easy to read. I usually have several books going at once, and it's been one where I can read a chapter, put it down, and pick the book up a week later. Probably, my favorite chapters are the first (Do you thirst for God?) and the last (Do you yearn for Heaven and to be with Jesus?), and I'll leave you with this quote from the first chapter:

"The irony of the empty soul is that while he is perpetually dissatisfied in so many areas of his life, he is so easily satisfied in regard to the pursuit of God...Whatever the empty soul may desire in life, he never has what the eighteenth century pastor and theologian, Jonathan Edwards, called 'holy desire, exercised in longings, hungerings and thirstings after God and holiness,' as the Christian does.

The eternal tragedy is that if the empty soul never properly thirsts on earth, he will thirst in hell as did the rich man who pleaded in vain for even the tip of a moist finger to be touched to his tongue (Luke 16:24)."