Book Review: How’s Your Soul?

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“It is imperative that we understand we do not have to live up to who people say we are or perceive us to be.  By the grace of God, Jesus enables us to live from who we really are.”  p. 113 How’s Your Soul by Judah Smith

How are you?  FINE.  How are you?  BUSY.  How are you?  GREAT.  How’s your soul?  Wow…what a great and necessary question.  When’s the last time someone asked you how you are where it really matters…in your soul, the control center of everything else.  How’s Your Soul by Pastor Judah Smith asks the hard question in an effort to get to what really matters.  One of his main points is simply that the outside you really doesn’t matter if the inside you is a chaotic mess.  Are you willing to be transparent enough to say that you are weary?  that you are empty?  that you are searching?  Who are the people in your life that can handle that information and love you well by pointing you straight to the truth of God’s word in those moments?  This is such a theme of so many conversations that I find myself in these days…who is tending your soul?  Are you making that a priority?

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…

  • Vulnerability is scary.  It feels safer to be superficial.  p. xi
  • The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?  Jeremiah 17:9 p. xiii
  • I the Lord search the heart and test the mind.  Jeremiah 17:10 p. xiii
  • 3 John references the health of our souls.  p. 5
  • Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Psalm 103:1 p. 12
  • Even when our outside environments aren’t particularly healthy or stable, if we are healthy on the inside, we will conquer adversity.  p. 21
  • Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  Matthew 11:28-29 p. 27
  • He gives to his beloved sheep.  Psalm 127:2 p. 27
  • Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.  Ecclesiastes 9:10 p. 29
  • Restriction and restraint are necessary for a healthy soul.  p. 31
  • A healthy spirit conquers adversity, but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?  Proverbs 18:14 The Message p. 36
  • It’s the paradox of leadership and influence.  Just because you lead people and help people doesn’t mean you are always going to be healthy on the inside.  If anything, the pressure of public influence increases the unhealthy tendencies of our souls.  If we aren’t careful, it can make us defensives and isolated.  Instead of looking for help when we need it, we pretend to have it all together.  p. 51
  • If we want to be healthy on the inside, we have to question our insides.  We have to question our souls.  We have to question our feelings.  p. 53
  • The anchor is an agent of stability.  It is an agent of security.  It is an agent of steadiness.  You tether yourself to it, and no matter how unpredictable or challenging the elements become, you remain stable.  p. 68
  • We want out.  We want an escape.  We want someone to remove us from the storm, but Jesus wants to be our strength and stability in the storm.  p. 73
  • Before you get too hard on yourself for not trusting God at times, consider this.  The physical, tangible, visible Jesus was right in front of Peter, and Peter still had trouble keeping his eyes on Jesus because the waves were so big.  p. 76
  • Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.  1 John 4:7-9 p. 82
  • Where does the desire to defend ourselves and justify ourselves and protect ourselves come from?  In reality, it’s a lack of God-awareness.  Is God God or not?  Do we trust him to take care of us or not?  p. 91
  • What does it mean that love always hopes?  It means that love holds on to eventual development.  Love recognizes that where we are is not where we will always be.  We are on a journey.  We are works in progress.  p. 93
  • Grace has no gaps and love knows no limits.  Love endures all things.  p. 96
  • I want to know this God of love so well and walk with him so closely that his love becomes part of the fabric of my soul.  p. 98
  • I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.  Psalm 131:1 p. 108
  • It is imperative that we understand we do not have to live up to who people say we are or perceive us to be.  By the grace of God, Jesus enables us to live from who we really are.  p. 113
  • Worship reminds us of who God is and who we are.  p. 113
  • Our souls have a God-given need for purpose and significance.  p. 123
  • He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all that he does, he prospers.  Psalm 1:3  p. 124
  • Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgement.  Proverbs 18:1 p. 132
  • Our stance and positions as delivers is defined by the phrase in Jesus. (Ephesians 1:3-4) p. 141
  • This great God is on our side. (Ephesians 1:20-21) p. 144
  • But God.  That is the foundation of the gospel.  It is the greatest revelation we ever need of God’s love and care and concern for us.  God found us and he saved us.  He took the initiative and he provided the solution.  p. 148
  • I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  Philippians 1:6 p. 161
  • Eternity is calling your soul.  It inspires you to awaken, to dream again, and to take risks.  It asks you to pursue visions that are shaped not by fear or selfish desires or manipulated emotions, but by the glory of God and the reality of heaven.  p. 186
  • “This infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”  Blaise Pascal p. 186
  • God has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in this human heart.  Ecclesiastes 3:11 p. 186

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