I have been reviewing books for a long time now—long enough that some books I reviewed shortly after their release are now being re-released in anniversary editions.
Such is the case with Donald Whitney’s Ten Questions To Diagnose Your Spiritual Health. First published in 2001, it has now been released in an updated edition for its twentieth anniversary.
Whitney writes downstream of the Puritans who were commonly known as “physicians of the soul,” and says that “in our day, as in [the Puritans’], the timeless process of discerning one’s spiritual health involves questions and tests.”
My purpose in writing these pages is to act as a physician of the soul, asking questions and suggesting spiritual tests that can, by the help of the Holy Spirit, enable you to self-diagnose your spiritual health.Donald Whitney
The book, now as then, is framed around 10 big questions meant to challenge Christians with the state of their spiritual health and development. They are, in order:
- Do you thirst for God?
- Are you governed increasingly by God’s Word?
- Are you more loving?
- Are you more sensitive to God’s presence?
- Do you have a growing concern for the spiritual and temporal needs of others?
- Do you delight in the bride of Christ?
- Are the spiritual disciplines increasingly important to you?
- Do you still grieve over sin?
- Are you a quicker forgiver?
- Do you yearn for heaven and to be with Jesus?
Having read the book much earlier in my Christian life, I found it both interesting and helpful to go back and consider each of these questions again.
My answers are both the same and different.
I can see where I have grown, but also see where I need to grow. I can see spiritual health, but also spiritual immaturity.
I can see where I have applied the wisdom of this book as I read it more than a decade ago and can see where I failed to apply it.
Through his books, Whitney has often been a physician to my soul. Through this revised edition of a book that meant a lot to me many years ago, he has ministered to me again and challenged me anew.
I’m glad I read it the first time and equally glad I read it again. I gladly commend it to you and suggest you consider doing the same.