The Good of Giving Up Review

Book Review: 

The Good of Giving Up: Discovering the Freedom of Lent by Aaron Damiani is a great introduction to the history, practice, and benefit of Lent for those who are unfamiliar with the practice. The author grew up in a tradition that did not celebrate Lent, was introduced to it as a young adult, and now pastors a church that celebrates Lent. His perspective is useful, having been on all sides of the issue.

Damiani splits his book into three parts: The Case for Lent, The Path of Lent, and Leading Others Through Lent. In the first part, Damiani gives a brief but comprehensive history of how Lent has been viewed and celebrated throughout church history. He also answers common objections from those who view Lent with suspicion. In the second part, he covers the key aspects of Lent including fasting, prayer, almsgiving, and confession. The last part is more of a guide for those in charge of leading groups through the season of Lent, though there is useful information for laymen as well.

As one who has never really practiced Lent, I found The Good of Giving Up informative and encouraging. It has a very humble tone that gives the reader information without putting any pressure on him/her to think a certain way about Lent. It is just the right length to be an introduction to a commonly misunderstood topic. The focus on Jesus being in relationship with Him ties the entire book together. I'd encourage anyone curious about Lent, those practicing it for the first time, or those just starting to lead others through it to read The Good of Giving Up.