My Spiritual Checkup
by Catherine Braswell

"You don’t have to worry about rushing through your checkup because it is your need that He is here to take care of."

Just as people of all ages schedule appointments with their medical doctors throughout the year to ensure that all is well with their physical bodies, so too must one check in with one’s maker, God, to assess spiritual issues in one’s life. This is the primary argument posited by Braswell’s self-help book. If we take the time to check such vitals as blood pressure, any significant changes in weight, x-rays when bones are thought to be broken, and preventative medicine including mammograms and the like, it is equally important, writes the author, that we make “appointments” with the Great Physician—our primary care provider, Jesus Christ. “The Lord is very concerned about the whole you,” Braswell writes, “and He wants to address and fix everything.” The author, who herself is a licensed practical nurse as well as a current pastor and Christian counselor, lays out for the reader in thirteen chapters a plan of action.

Throughout the text, different areas of the physical human body are examined through their correlation to a spiritual health assessment, starting with the mind and moving downward to vision and sight, hearing, one’s tongue, condition of the heart, limbs, blood flow, and more. Further, issues of exercise and proper maturity and growth at each life-stage level are discussed, again making that primary dual connection between both the physical body and that of a religious or spiritual nature. The final three chapters present a series of 26 key questions suggested for the reader to ask herself regarding one’s walk with God as a Christian.

Braswell establishes a deep, personal, caretaker-type relationship with the reader, encouraging this entire process not to be rushed and to be answered honestly. After all, the Great Physician is never in a rush with his patients the way too many traditional doctors of medicine seem to be. After an assessment of whether one’s results of the spiritual examination process meet God’s standard—using the Bible and the words of God and Christ as a measuring board—readers are gracefully encouraged to evaluate themselves honestly and in accordance with “the way you need to be evaluated” because, in the end, one has to live with oneself.

True acknowledgment is the key here. Just as some people fail to acknowledge that their physical symptoms are their bodies’ ways of signaling something is off-kilter and thus needs changing, Braswell explains that there is no shame in asking the Lord for help in similar matters. Whether the sickness is spiritual or natural, “God has the authority and ability” to heal and make whole. This work, in its gentle yet firm establishment that the Great Physician is in control of all and is more than happy to heal so long as one seeks out such spiritual wellness, could prove beneficial to a good many individuals in our troubled world who find strength and hope in God and His son, Jesus Christ.

The author’s background in religious studies and medicine helps inform her writing. Braswell works—in addition to her career as a licensed nurse—as an office coordinator for East Georgia Healthcare Center in Swainsboro, Georgia. She also serves as pastor of Stillmore Sanctuary in Stillmore, Georgia. With a degree in biblical studies from the Institute of Theology Training in Orlando, Florida, she presently lives with her family in Bartow, Georgia.

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