By: Donald S. Whitney
Just as a physician would ask diagnostic questions to determine the patient’s health, Donald S. Whitney wrote “Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health” to allow Christians to diagnose their own spiritual health. Each chapter tackles down one question with a thesis that allows the reader to critically self examine oneself and be encouraged with Scripture-based advisements. Being that only through Christ one has spiritual life, the book is meant to diagnose the spiritual life of Christians.
Whitney begins the diagnostic with the question: “Do you thirst for God?” Any Christian who genuinely tasted the living water of God through Christ will thirst for God. Whitney writes that there are three different kinds of spiritual thirst. First, the soul thirsts when it is empty. Soul that never tasted the living water will always be on the search to find the water that will finally quench one’s soul. Sadly, the world fails to recognize that God is the only one who can quench our thirst for genuine purpose and meaning in life. There is no satisfaction in life until we find the eternally joyful fulfillment of knowing the Creator. Secondly, a dry soul thirst to drink from the fountain of God. I am reminded of a verse where the Psalmist describes his desire to quench his dry soul, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God” (Psalm 42:1). In the midst of our Christian walk, we face times when our spirit is particularly dry due to multiple factors of life. In the low moments of life, we seek to be rejuvenated through the living water of God. Lastly, satisfied soul still thirsts. It is natural for the soul to continue to drink from the water that satisfies the soul. Whitney quotes Jonathan Edwards to describe this phenomenon, “Spiritual good is of a satisfying nature; and for that very reason, the soul that tastes, and knows its nature, will thirst after it, and a fullness of it, that it may be satisfied. And the more he experiences, and the more he knows this excellent, unparalleled, exquisite, and satisfying sweetness, the more earnestly he will hunger and thirst for more”. After every chapter, Whitney gives several practical steps for the readers to meet the criteria of being a healthy Christian. In this chapter, Whitney advises the readers to meditate and pray through Scripture, and to read “thirst-making” writers.
Whitney continues on by asking questions such as “Are you governed increasingly by God, 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, and do you yearn for heaven and to be with Jesus?”
I find the last question, “Do you yearn for heaven and to be with Jesus?” to be an appropriate question to tackle to tie the knots of everything that was questioned. A growing Christian will groan to be with Christ as