Wellness for the Glory of God

Overview/Summary of Author’s Key Points

John Dunlop’s book comprehensively explores six fundamental facets of life that contribute to a holistic visualization of wellness. According to Dunlop, human wellness entails more than k8physical wellbeing and freedom from distressing symptoms. Wellness encompasses the whole of our being and rotates around six distinct facets: physical, social, mental, financial, emotional, and spiritual. These core areas of wellness are not independent of each other, but somewhat are interrelated. Every facet contributes to the wellbeing of the remaining areas. A hitch in one area may undermine wellness in each of the remaining five areas. While working with aging patients, Dunlop noted that a sense of wellness, to an extent, emanate from placing adequate value on at least one of the six areas of life, particularly where things are moving well and trumping areas where things could improve with time. The author gives an illustration of his life experience with people, where he has heard many make assertions such as “If I can just stay healthy, that is all I want.” However, he encountered many people in excellent health but could not be categorized as being well (Dunlop 2014). Some characters, such as Jim, seemed physically okay, but are devoid of social and emotional wellness.

Dunlop explains what it takes to age healthily in all the dimensions of life—emotional, physical, financial, mental, and social. The secret, according to the author, is that people should focus on what the Lord has already done in our lives (Dunlop 2014).  Focusing on what the Lord has done in our lives is paramount, even though mounting losses sometimes makes it challenging to think about all the blessings we have already.

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2. Concrete Response

The book provides readers the guidance they require to view their old age as an opportunity for continuous learning and growth in every aspect of life. My perception of wellness keeps changing as I age. When I was in my younger age, I never thought about anything to do with wellness. Just like the majority of young people, I took my infinite energy for granted; I was rarely sick. I lived my life, a healthy and energetic child. The pattern continued in my teens until I was almost hitting my 20s. At about the age of eighteen, I started using drugs outside myself to help me feel better. I did not understand or realize at that point that I had any role to play for my wellbeing and even health—the experience was more of just something happening to me. I lived with the same experience until my mid-20s. However, now I am almost highly aware of wellness on core levels—emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, and mental. For instance, I eat healthily not because I have to, but be because I want to. I exercise daily, make friends, and meditate in prayer. The core elements of wellness are all intertwined and require balancing. When the area is shaken, it affects others.

The case of Jim, a seventy-two-year-old man running twenty miles weekly, supports the assertion that the elements of wellness are intertwined and require balancing. Jim’s physical wellbeing is not adequate to compensate for the remaining areas where he is deficient—social, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Jim is an avid runner, trying to make at least twenty miles weekly. He spends about four hours a day in a gym and sometimes takes a walk by himself to maintain his physical wellbeing. However, he is always by himself, whether walking or at the gym. Jim has no close friends, raising questions on his social and emotional wellbeing (Dunlop 2014). Wellness, to me, implies living on purpose and entails consciously choosing balancing emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, and mental to align with the meaning and joy of life.

3. Reflection with Insight

Must an individual possess all the five dimensions of wellness proposed by John Dunlop to be considered in a state of wellbeing? What about the introverts who find it welcoming to spend much of their time alone than with others? Well, John Dunlop explores five fundamental facets of wellness—physical, social, mental, financial, emotional, and spiritual. According to the author, one must find a balance of all the five areas to achieve a state of wellbeing. However, I disagree with the author on the notion that all five facets must equally balance for wellness. Instead, one should aim for “personal harmony” that seems most authentic to him or her. People naturally have their priorities, aspirations, and approaches, including what it means or entails to live life fully (Dunlop 2014). We all know what is good for us.

Dunlop, in this book, concludes that the only secrete to wellness is to focus our attention on what the Lord has done in our lives already rather than straining for what we cannot access. The same applies to the biblical worldview of wellness that has Christ at the center. According to the bible, humans are fearfully and wonderfully created, and as such, should not look down upon themselves for what they cannot access. The book of Psalm 139:13-14, for instance, says, “…I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Wellness from the Biblical perspective acknowledges that humans are perfectively made because the works of the Lord are wonderful. The only slight difference is that Dunlop included aspects such as financial and social wellbeing, which humans strive to acquire through the blessings of the Lord. Yes, I agree with Dunlop’s worldview of wellness since the first step to attain the state of wellbeing is to acknowledge and appreciate what you have already. 

4. Application to You as a Life Coach

As a life coach, my primary goal is to push my clients to find success and happiness in their jobs and lifestyle, just like those who push athletes to greatness in the world sports. As such, the five dimensions of wellness, as proposed by Dunlop, are essential to making my clients attain excellence, and their applications depend on the case scenario. For instance, when the worry concerns money, debts, or inability to afford needs, then the experience may be anxiety (emotional). Such can translate to medical challenges such as hypertension (physical). When such a case happens, people tend to question their sense of purpose or meaning (spiritual), and even the ability to interact (social). As such, it is my responsibility as a coach to put all these dimensions into perspective and building on each of them when guiding the client to achieve the state of wellbeing.


            Since every individual’s needs, capabilities, and preferences varies, what is considered balance also differs from one case to another. As such, it is essential as a coach to re-balance from case to case to adjust to what is going on in the client’s life. It is also vital to consider that the clients are from different multicultural settings, and the approach to wellness may not be the same to every case.


Dunlop, J. (2014). Wellness for the Glory of God: Living Well After 40 with Joy and Contentment in All of Life. Crossway.