Don’t Beat Yourself Up by Tania Bright
Inspirational book covering areas often kept secret, showing that while many Christians live with a sense of guilt, it doesn't need to be that way
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
By Tania Bright
Reviewer: David Stuckey
I learnt a new word reading this useful volume – ‘kindsight’. Tania Bright emphasises that each of us have our own individual way of dealing with the setbacks and disappointments life throws at us from time to time. Tania has collated many of them in her helpful primer and although many may sound like simple common sense, to have them explained in a caring way provides a welcome revelation.
Many are personal – family tension, the angst that often accompanies falling in love, coming to terms with loss, learning how to forgive – and sexual tension that can often be a personal rather than a shared experience. But she goes further than that – for Christian parents with children reaching teenage there is much to be gleaned from her forthright approach to sex – not only ‘love and marriage’ but also what my schoolmaster was fond of calling ‘playing with yourself.’ Indeed the title of this paperback could well be a euphemism for this practice.
Tania faces the ambiguity demonstrated in the title and with ‘kindsight’ sets out to prove that faith and experience can lead to personal enlightenment. In her frank introduction she readily admits that, in her teens, her life was a mess but having turned it around and found a faith she admits that her journey has been a ‘paradox of passion and pain in equal measure.’
She writes: “God wants to be in on every part of our journey … breathing goodness and kindness and love in every area of our life – particularly those we are most frightened or ashamed of.”
This paperback is an inspiration, covering areas often kept secret rather than shared – shame and hurt, love and sex and porn, facing injustice and loss … ‘Kindsight’ might not be a universal panacea but its direct approach certainly helps the healing process.
David Stuckey is a journalist and member of Maghull Baptist Church