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The Good of Giving Up: Discovering the Freedom of Lent

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  231 ratings  ·  48 reviews
“Like many evangelicals who love the gospel, I had my doubts about Lent.”

It’s true, Lent can often seem like an empty ritual. But what Aaron Damiani came to find, and what he describes inside, is something else entirely. Something exceedingly good.

In The Good of Giving Up, Anglican pastor Aaron Damiani (who comes from a low-church background) explains the season of Lent, d
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 3rd 2017 by Moody Publishers
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Will Pareja
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is surprising and disarming...

When my parents left the Roman Catholic Church via true repentance and belief, I was still old enough to remember some of the trappings of "high church." My parents' conversion was quite drastic. Not long after their conversion, I, as a youngster, came to Christ in repentance and faith (even though I had made first confession and communion).

I'm comfortably a "low"-church guy (prefer rather the term "free"). So, this is the perfect book for people in that c
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When we practice Lent in the spirit of Jesus, it's not about making God happy, looking spiritual, or repeating empty traditions. It's not a power move or a forced march. Jesus and the cloud of witnesses show us that Lent is about Jesus - and, therefore about love. The Holy Spirit uses fasting, prayer, and generosity to satisfy us with God's Fatherly love. As a result we are moved to share that love with others. And that is history worth repeating.

What a great text and study on Lent. I in the pa
Aaron Damiani makes a case for Lent in his new book, The Good of Giving Up. In this one, he seeks to persuade readers from all denominations that Lent is a good thing, could be a GREAT thing even. The first part of this one focuses on the history of Lent, and, a little of the why you should observe it. The second part of this one focuses on the how--specifically how an individual can observe Lent. The third and final part of this one is how to lead others--your family, your church, etc--through ...more
Elena Forsythe
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
I don't have enough good words about this book. As someone who lives in the netherworld of loving and cherishing Catholicism and the heritage it gives me and loving and cherishing the Reformation and Reformed theology, this was a book I hardly knew I wanted so much. It helps me to respond to the questions I get about Lent from other protestants and those who speak harshly towards tradition as being contrary to "Mere Christianity" even as it has helped me to prepare my heart to respond to the inv ...more
Santiago Fajardo
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
A simple yet faithful overview of Lent which is especially suited to evangelicals who have little to no background or confidence in the Church's observance of ancient feasts and seasons. Do not expect a mind-blowing experience while reading this. It is a simply (yet richly) composed book meant to equip the soul in the most basic ways to prepare it to be refreshed by the gentle yoke of the Lenten journey.

Recommended for those newly interested in the season of Lent and for those wishing to teach a
Kayla Roth
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good book for those of us who didn't grow up practicing Lent. I've been guilty of viewing Lent as an empty ritual and this simple book helped lay out a case and path for practicing this season with intention. 4/5 because it felt directed mostly at church leaders, but accessible & recommended for anyone wanting to understand more about church rhythms. ...more
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful book on the season of Lent. It is both practical and thought-provoking. Lent is not a season of purposeless self-denial, but rather a time of anticipation and self-control as we prepare for the joy and feasting that comes at the celebration of Easter!
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great introduction to Lent, especially for Christians who did not grow up in churches where Lent was practiced.
Eustacia Tan
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Even though we're not yet in the Lenten season (it starts 1st March for 2017), I thought it would be a good idea to read this. The Good of Giving Up is a book on what Lent is, why one should practice it, how to practice it, as well as how you can lead others in Lent.

The author is Anglican, but the precepts are applicable to all denominations, even if the applications may differ from Church to Church. Since I'm Methodist, I do know what Lent is. My Church celebrates Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Ma
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Aaron Damiani's The Good of Giving Up: Discovering the Freedom of Lent offers a rich exploration of a Christian tradition that, to many evangelicals, seems rather "strange": The tradition of Lent.

Lent, of course, is that period of the Church's calendar which consists of forty days before Easter each year, a period of spiritual preparation, of fasting, repentance and conversion. Lent offers Christians the discipline of "giving up" our attachments to the world, so that we can embrace the cross an
Kelsie Hartley
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this on a second read. I used to go to Aaron’s church in Chicago and he is a wonderful pastor and preacher so it’s not surprise that this is so well written and easily accessible. The first time I read this I was still an Anglican, but this time I am a Catholic convert. But I still really appreciated Aaron’s fresh perspective on the how and whys of Lent. There were a few things in the book that were exclusively evangelical and don’t necessarily align with Catholic doctrine, b ...more
Andrew Bondurant
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I purchased this book because I wanted an introduction to Lent. I grew up in a church tradition that generally does not talk much about the church calendar outside of Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter. The Good of Giving Up was a very good introduction to both the "why" and "how" behind Lent. I am definitely glad I read the book and I highly recommend it to other evangelicals who may associate Lent more with the Filet-O-Fish deals at McDonalds than anything else. ...more
George P.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Aaron Damiani, The Good of Giving Up: Discovering the Freedom of Lent (Chicago: Moody, 2017).

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, a 40-day season of fasting formalized by the Council of Nicea is A.D. 325, though based on precedents from the second century onward. Lent is observed by many, though not all Christians. Indeed, during the Reformation, Protestants objected to the way the Roman Catholic Church had turned Lent (and many other Christian traditions) into a form of works-righteou
Justin Cloyd
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As my wife and I prepared to participate in Lent for the first time, this book was an indispensable guide. Aaron ably captures the history and reasons for Lent from an accessible viewpoint. Within the first few pages, we were convicted by the ways our lives have been ruled by the "disordered desires" Aaron writes about, and we knew we needed to approach this season with humility. In addition to arguing for the usefulness and spiritual benefits of Lent, Aaron also devotes an entire section of the ...more
Karl Dumas
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Easter is my favorite part of the church year, and with Easter comes Lent. Damiani does a good job of putting all the pieces of Lent together and into perspective. This book is a good reminder that Lent is not just about giving up your favorite dessert or tv show, nor is it just for Catholics. (Or the High Church folks on the Protestant side of the aisle.) As the Pastor in a Baptist church, I have introduced Lenten ideas and practices for over a decade. People seem to enjoy the idea, once they g ...more
Brian Rhea
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a rich delight. Seminary was a while ago, and I simply wanted a reminder of the whys and wherefores of Lent. I was pleasantly surprised to find Damiani's book offered far more--the kind of poetic, theological reflections that are worth returning to year after year, as well as practical ideas for guiding others in discovering Lent. (I found his chapter "Leading Children through Lent" especially helpful!) Grace-filled, Christ-centered, and accessible to anyone vaguely interested, thi ...more
Paul Ling
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Aaron Damiani provides an excellent introduction to Lent for evangelicals who might be unfamiliar with this rich Christian tradition. He begins with teaching on the right motivation for Lent then introduces different ways to practice Lent. The bottom line: Lent is not legalistic, nor is it an impossible attempt at perfectionistic rituals. There is room for failure (and grace!), and all of us can practice Lent.
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent resource for guys like me who wants to lead his church in seasons of focused discipleship but fears the trappings of religious legalism cloaked in the Roman Catholic traditions. Aaron’s book is helpful in showing a gospel-centered, Christ-exalting, spiritually formative path to embrace and celebrate Lent. With practical tips and pastoral care this resource will help any pastor lead himself and his church well in “denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following Jesus.”
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Observing Lent has gained popularity among Christians, even though not from a liturgical background. While there are numerous devotionals available to read during Lent, Damiani fills a gap. He's written both a guide and a meditation on the various practices associated with this season in the church calendar. A book of preparation, to be read before the season begins. ...more
Jonathan Wylie
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book will serve as a resource book in my home for many years to come. I am so thankful for Aaron helping me begin to think about how my family will worship the Lord in the season of lent and easter. What a good gift this book is to my family.

I want to learn to train myself to be self-controlled by giving up things that I have access to obtain.
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
A helpful primer for Lent. Although this blog post is not commenting on this book (well, obviously not because this blog post was published in 2014), I resonated with Trevin's thoughts here on Lent for those participating in it and for those who aren't: ...more
Hilary Forrest
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this leading up to and a day or two into this Lent season. I did not grow up in a liturgical church and although I've been familiar with Lenten practices and done a few things here and there I've never really spent time learning about it. This is a great introduction to the season of Lent-the history, they why behind it, common and suggested practices and lots of good tips. ...more
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2017
Good general introduction to lent in the first part. I appreciated the second part a lot more as it talked about how to (practically) practice lent at home with my family. Bother the ideas suggested and the reality that 15 minutes of intentional conversation a week ADDS UP was really good.
Kim Coleman
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a quick and helpful read to help guide you through the disciplines of Lent. Particularly helpful if Lent was not a part of your tradition growing up. Includes insights on the proper attitude for Lent, a little church history, and practical guidance.
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
i felt as though this was written as an invitation for everyone to participate in Lent. The text is given to all from a pastor who not only desires to inform but draw us in to the ‘why’s’ of Lent and how we can be changed through it.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Has good information and guidance but was a very slow read for me-- felt like it was written more for church leaders so maybe I was not the intended audience?
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a helpful resource for newbies and insightful for those with more experience.
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's a pretty good resource guide and basic overview for anyone new to Lent. I'll keep it close for future Lent seasons to help me plan meaningful practices. ...more
Austin Gilchrist
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
A must-read for anyone who observes Lent. It truly made this Lenten season more beneficial than ever!
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Evangelical pastor who doesn’t do Lent? Read this pastor’s introduction

Most of my Christian ministry life, Lent wasn't a Thing. I mean, as a leader in a evangelical church, we focused on getting better sound from the sub-woofers and making sure our sermon powerpoint was top notch. Band and a Talk.

That’s not snark—we were thinking a lot about evangelism and discipleship. It's just that "Catholic holidays" were, at best, irrelevant, and at worst, something that made me feel sorry for folks with bl
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AARON DAMIANI is the lead pastor of Immanuel Anglican Church, in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. Damiani has degrees from Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College and writes regularly for Leadership Journal and Preaching Today. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Laura, and their four children. ...more

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“The season of Lent is a participation in God’s life, not an entrance fee to heaven. Our security comes from resting in God’s free gift.” 1 likes
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