Are you starting a new mentoring or lay counseling kind of connection? Do you want to help another or yourself evaluate your spiritual health? (Tweet that!)

I use these 13 questions to start. After I hear the woman’s answers (and of course write them down), over time, I will direct our conversations to the truths that will help her grow closer to God in trust and truth–and counteract the potential lies she expressed in her answers.

1. What does it seem like or feel like you must or should have? The answer could indicate a selfish demand. Direct her toward the truth that God promises to meet all her real needs (Phil 4:19).

  • I must be respected.
  • I should be loved.


2. What do you hate? The answer could indicate a vow that she will not be like someone else or make sure God doesn’t allow some difficulty in her life. Direct her toward having Jesus as her only example and judge.
  • I hate injustice.
  • I hate being treated like a child.
3. What have you promised yourself? The answer could indicate a vow that leaves out God’s will. Direct her toward surrendering that vow to God for whatever His will and purposes are.
  • I told myself I won’t treat my own children like my parents treated me.
  • I’m committed to help others get out of pain.
4. How do you hate being seen by others? The answer could indicate that her image and identity are based upon other people’s opinions. Direct her toward seeking her identify “in Christ” and who He says she is (Ephesians 1:18).
  • I never want anyone to see me as weak.
  • I hate being seen as not knowing the Bible.
5. What would you like to avoid at all costs? The answer could indicate fear and distrust of God. Direct her toward surrendering to whatever God might have for her and how He uses everything for good (Romans 8:28).


  • I’ve always wanted to avoid being in a crisis situation again.
  • I want to avoid making God look bad.
6. Who has hurt you the most? The answer could indicate a wound from her past that may or may not be healed. Direct her toward forgiveness (Ephesians 4:31-32).


  • My father yelled at me all the time.
  • My teacher belittled my intelligence.
7. What instruction in the Bible do you wish wasn’t there or you don’t understand? The answer could indicate an an area of disobedience. Direct her toward repentance and obedience (Ephesians 5:15-17)


  • That God hates divorce. 
  • Jesus saying to forgive.
8. If something could be changed in your life, that could make you happy, what would it be? The answer could indicate discontentment. Direct her toward trusting God’s will for her (Ephesians 2:10).


  • That my husband would meet my needs.
  • My mother would recognize how much she hurt me.
9. What 3 things and/or people and/or circumstances bring you the most happiness? The answers could indicate idols of people or circumstances that are more important than God. Direct her toward God being her source and provider (Philippians 4:19).


  • My daughter. When she’s pleased with me, I feel happy.
  • Being on the internet. It helps me relax.
  • Being acknowledged at work for my accomplishments.

10. If you could change one person’s opinion or perception of you, who would it be and what would it be? The answer could indicate people pleasing. Direct her toward finding her image in her position in Christ (Ephesians 1:18).

  • My father and how he thinks I’m not smart.
  • My boss and how she thinks I don’t have enough drive to be successful.

11. When you’re not happy, what do you do for escape? The answer could indicate an idol. Direct her toward finding her needs met in Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

  • I play games on my phone or on the internet.
  • I run or workout but I know it’s excessive.

12. Who are you determined not to be like? The answer could indicate a critical and judgmental spirit. It could also indicate a wound. Direct her toward focusing on Jesus as her example and toward healing of any wound (Philippians 2:5).

  • My father. He’s mean.
  • My friends from college who were hypocrites.

13. Who do you want to be like, aside from Jesus? The answer could indicate an idol. Direct her toward worshipping only Jesus and being like Him (Philippians 2:5)

  • My mother because of the way she has changed over the years.
  • My mentor because she never seems to get ruffled.
These questions come from Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today (Leafwood Publishers), written by Larry and I. In that book, we explain more about how to use these concepts to sanctify our own lives and how to mentor and give lay counseling to others. Even without directly using the questions, the concepts help to sense what is going on in a person’s life that is blocking greater trust in God and believing the truth about Him.

I hope you’ll find these ideas helpful for your spiritual health.