Review of 'The Good Of Giving Up - Discovering the Freedom of Lent' by Aaron Damiani

This book caught my attention of several levels.  Firstly, when I lived in UK and attended an Anglican church I was familiar with people giving up things - but never really knew anything about it at a deeper level.

Secondly, the title 'the good of giving up' just appealed to me as by nature I like to simplify things and the idea of giving things up as a discipline is interesting to me.

Thirdly, I wanted to know more about it to see if it is something I might want to adopt into my life - even though I do not attend an Anglican church.  I guess I was wondering - as a Pentecostal/Charasmatic - can this be integrated? Also the reviews were good, and I liked the cover design.

Aaron presents the information in this book in a really reader-
friendly way. It is quick and easy to read. I really enjoyed it a lot. He backs up with scripture, shares Anglican liturgy as applicable and really delves into this topic passionately.  It is so evident that this is something he is truly passionate about.

To be honest, I'm still processing a lot of this after reading it.  He speaks on the importance of fasting and how lent works itself into Easter when the celebration occurs - so Easter no longer just sneaks up on you but you have gone through this time of seeking God and preparation.  How it is important for us to have a time each year of introspect and seeking God and putting aside our distractions to get to what is really important. To search our soul and allow God to show us our shortcomings and where we need to work on.  This is something pretty much unheard of in today's society - of pulling back and quietening ourselves to hear God's voice speak to us personally and to start the process of change in response.

He talks of the value of confessing to each other. The Bible says to confess our sins to each other and pray for each other.  The aim of the confession is that you speak it out and then it releases it and you move on - not to go that way again or sin in that way again.  So if on your journey of lent, God shows you something to work on  in your life - one of the steps is to confess it to someone else and commit to changing.

Another aspect of the book deals with giving to others during the Lent time and being aware of others struggling.

Among other things, I take from this book that lent is something that is necessary in the Christian life. It forces us off the merry-go-round of busyness, to slow us down to remember why we are here, who we are, how we are doing.  It brings back spiritual focus. Like a reset button. It's like a regrouping where we humble ourselves before the Lord and seek Him more in our life by letting go of something important to us for a period of time.

At the end he also has a section of how to lead others through lent - such as your family, and even
how to lead a church through it.  There is a 'special services' part at the back to that shows how they do services at his church for Ash Wednesday etc.  Very helpful and practical information.

I really appreciated this book and am so glad that I read it. I would most definitely recommend this book.

Please note that I was sent a copy of this book in return for my review, however this review is entirely my own.