Friday, August 6, 2010

So Long, Insecurity: You've Been a Bad Friend to Us by Beth Moore

350 pages
Published in 2010
by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Carol Stream, Illinois

As you might notice most of the books I read I end up enjoying enough to recommend as books to read. There are of course the occasions where I don't really enjoy the book and give them a so-so review or a thumbs down. And then there are those occasions where I enjoy a book so much, find it is so amazing that I just want to cry out in call caps: GO! YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK! NEVER MIND WAITING IN LINE AT THE LIBRARY. RUN TO THE BOOKSTORE, YOU HAVE TO OWN THIS BOOK!

So Long, Insecurity: You've Been A Bad Friend to Us by Beth Moore is just such a book. This is a must read for every living breathing woman in the world.

Who exactly is Beth Moore? Before reading this book I had only a brief introduction to this woman of faith, but from random conversations with some of my Christian friends and acquaintances I realize I am in the minority. Beth Moore founded Living Proof Ministries in 1994 "with the purpose of teaching women how to love and live on God's Word." She is the author of countless Bible studies and books and in the last few years added radio and the Internet to her ministry outreach. My own church has held a few women's events in the past that utilized Beth's Bible studies. The one I attended I found insightful and applicable.

So when I noticed her face on the cover of a book on the "New Release" table at my local B&N store I added her to my list of authors to read in 2010. At the time I wasn't even thinking that a book about conquering insecurity would be applicable to my own life I just thought it might be a good title to review.

The Book:
As I mentioned before, I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up So Long Insecurity. I wasn't expecting to apply it to my own life, after all I consider myself a fairly secure person who may have struggled in my teen years with some forms of insecurity... but then what teen hasn't?

As I began the first chapter of the book I felt a tad doubtful of how good this book was. Beth's writing style is exuberant and seemed to emanate girl power with each paragraph. In my head I heard that Martina McBride song, This One's For the Girls and thought to myself... I'm not so sure this is my type of book. But as I read on I quickly discovered that this book is so much more. It is applicable to every living, breathing, hot blooded or cold blooded woman in this world; be they 18 or 88 or any age in between and regardless of whether they struggle with insecurity or only know of someone who struggles.

"Keep an open mind to what an insecure woman looks like, and don't be too hasty to let yourself off the hook just because a dimension of the portrait doesn't look like you. The fact that she can be a complicated mix of confidence and self-consciousness is the very reason it took me so long to identify it in myself and admit it." (Chpt 1, pg 19)

So Long Insecurity could be divided into three parts. The first part is where Beth discusses the history or more specifically "roots" from which insecurity grows. While it is not exactly all inclusive I believe she's thorough and it would be a rare instance where the reader didn't connect with at least a fragment of an example in this section.

Through the second part Beth discusses how to dig up these roots so healing can begin and how strength and dignity can be attained. The goal of this book is not to preach or to discourage, but to help women everywhere find security and live the life filled with the dignity, joy, and purpose that her Creator intended.

The last section of this book wraps up everything that has been discussed and looks to the future. Not only how can one go on from here with a "clean escape", but how can each woman who is secure help future generations of women (e.g. their own daughters or nieces or the little girl down the street or in their classroom, etc.)

This book is powerful and came at the perfect time. Insecurity is a major problem for women in the world today, including freedom loving Americans.

My Thoughts:
First of all I have to say I really appreciate Beth Moore. She's not just another woman out there who has it all together and is looking down her spiritual nose at the rest of womankind. This book is her journey as much as it is mine or any other reader's. Beth is genuine, she is honest, and she is full of encouragement. She shares from her heart the good with the bad in her own life: "I am a common woman sharing common problems seeking common solutions on a journey with an uncommon Savior. If something hurts me, I conclude it probably hurts somebody else." (Chpt 1, pg 13)

For my own part, I admit freely that I have struggled with insecurity in the past, even as far back as junior high and high school, but again, that is fairly typical. What was an eye opener for me was to realize that I still struggle, although the insecurity manifests itself in different forms now than it did 15 years ago. I also found it very interesting to discover how insecurity can play strongly in how I perceive other people and how they in turn perceive me. I realize now how failings in friendships or family members, or even bad encounters with other people where I've been snubbed or hurt are often connected to either one or both of us having issues with insecurity. It is indeed a fascinating issue to ponder.

For those wondering, So Long Insecurity is NOT a quick fix. I finished it only a week ago, but I am still faced with chronic insecurity. The difference for me now is that I know how to confront these feelings and come away the conqueror. I know how to say, "I am clothed with strength and dignity... God gave it to me. It is mine. You cannot have it." I no longer struggle.

In closing I can honestly and wholeheartedly say this book will improve your outlook on life and people. I recommend this book with two thumbs firmly up. Don't borrow this book, buy it. It is a keeper and it is one you will want to reference. It is not exactly a fast read -- while it reads quickly and is a book you don't really want to put down -- there is a lot to ponder and digest. For me some chapters took a few days for me to finish as I stopped to process exactly what she was saying, to pray about it, and to apply what I had read to my own life. This is a book you will want to share with all the women in your life.

Related Links:
Book Excerpt
Get Thee Behind Me, Insecurity: Interview with Beth Moore
So Long Insecurity affiliated website
Living Proof Ministries


Molly said...

I reserved this book for myself about two weeks ago and am trying to wait patiently for its arrival at my local library.

hopeinbrazil said...

I've only become familiar with Beth Moore in the last few years. I have to admit that I viewed her as "light weight" UNTIL I heard her speak a few times. The Lord has used her words many times to encourage and strengthen my heart. Thanks for recommending this book.