“In the journey of life, emotions make great companions but terrible leaders.”
‘How are you?’ may seem like an innocent enough question. And ‘I’m fine’ may seem like a perfectly acceptable response. But not for Judah Smith. That answer rang hollow. The pat answer of ‘I’m fine’ wasn’t the truth.
But not getting stuck on the issue of social niceties, Judah wanted to know what was actually wrong with himself, with everyone. If saying we are fine is a hollow answer, what is wrong? What is going on inside that we aren’t fine? How’s Your Soul?
Judah Smith takes a look at something that is often neglected in the Church, the condition of our souls. What causes the soul to be unwell? What is happening that we don’t feel fine deep in our being? And how do we go about fixing it? How can the soul be healed or returned to its naturally healthy state?
How’s Your Soul? is Judah Smith’s search and discovery of what the human soul is missing, what will give it health and life, where we can find that deep satisfaction that everyone craves. With relatable personal stories and simple illustrations, Judah Smith shares how our souls will find the rest and restoration that it needs, not in a thing, but in a Person.
“An anchor does its best work where it is never seen. An anchor plunges through the depths of the sea until it settles and wedges instead into the ocean floor. Meanwhile, back on the surface, in the boat that is your soul, you continue to be buffeted by the elements of life.”
There are academic books, with long words and pages dedicated to the thousands of other works that went into the research and development of that book. Then there are pastoral books, less research and long words, and more focus on the heart and caring for the reader. Judah Smith is a pastor, and How’s Your Soul? comes out of his pastoral heart. It is all about caring for the reader and what is going on inside of them.
I’m not attacking Smith. I’m not saying anything that he hasn’t said about himself. He does mention that he is a more emotional, not as theologically minded as some pastors are. And that is fine. That is how God has gifted Judah Smith, and he embraces it. And as a reader you need to be aware of that.
Judah Smith writes like he preaches. There are bunny trails, where he will go off the topic and talk on some tangent issue. He will make jokes. He will include pop culture references that are time sensitive. None of these are bad things in themselves. And obviously they are working for Judah; He is one of the most influential and popular pastors in this generation.
But it can be strange to read. It is as if someone was writing this for Judah, and he was dictating. He talked, did his hand gestures, paused for reactions to his jokes, and that wasn’t translated into the book. It was just written. Not wrong or bad, only strange. And as a reader, once you realize that is Judah Smith’s style, you will be able to get to what he has to say. Because what Judah has to say, what How’s Your Soul? is about, is worth that little bit of reading gymnastics.
What Judah Smith has to say is quite good. The simple insights that he brings to the table offer clarity and space for Christians, even veteran Christians, to reexamine their lives. Like the quote about the anchor shared above. This is a simple observation, but the truth is powerful and asks the reader to rethink how they are dealing with trials and issues in their lives. When God doesn’t answer it doesn’t mean that He isn’t present or that He isn’t working. If God is the anchor, He is working more when we don’t see Him…
How’s Your Soul? is full of wonderful little nuggets of brilliance, things that will having you setting down the book for a moment to dwell on.
“Jesus has a way of shifting priorities and focus. The more we consider Jesus, the more we realize life is not just about ourselves. Life points to God.”
From the pastor of one of the most relevant churches in America comes a book that speaks directly to the issue that has been ignored for so long; the issue of the human soul. In a contemporary and uplifting way, Judah Smith shares how we can find meaning, health, and the life we need in Jesus. How’s Your Soul? is a good book for young Christians, giving them something that has been lacking for a while.
I give How’s Your Soul? a 3 out of 5 star rating.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”