As promised in my very first post, I am beginning a blog-through of Beth Moore’s, So Long, Insecurity: you’ve been a bad friend to us (SLI). If there’s one person Southern Baptist women love, it’s Beth Moore. SLI came out last month, and I am in the middle of my second reading.
Though the introduction is only three pages long, I found plenty of problems. I’ll just take them in order.
First, Beth Moore is absolutely right when she says that this book is “the closest I’ll ever come to an autobiography.” This book is chock full of personal anecdotes. As I read it (the first time) I stopped to read how it is categorized in the Library of Congress. They have tagged this book: 1) Christian women — Religious life; 2) Security (Psychology); and 3) Trust in God — Christianity. They really wouldn’t be off the mark to add, 4) Autobiography. This book is all about the author. OK, this isn’t really a problem, but it comes across as rather disingenuous when, further into the book, Moore repeatedly protests that this isn’t all about her, or that she hates talking about herself, or that she can’t stand people who are self-absorbed. She could have admitted that, Yes, most of the book is about her.
She writes, “My entire life story grows like a wild shoot from the thorny soil of insecurity.” Her entire life? I think that’s overstating it a bit, don’t you? I mean, how can one’s entire life, even post-salvation, be the result of decisions made out of insecurity? Does she include her ministry? Does this include her Bible studies and books? What about the conferences? Travel? T.V.? Parenting decisions? Marriage decisions? Clothing? Church membership? Meal plans? I could go on and on. Does she really mean her entire life?
Second, Moore sets the stage for where we’re going with her next statements: “Every fear I’ve faced, every addiction I’ve nursed, every disastrous relationship and idiotic decision I’ve made has wormed its way out of that sorrowfully fertile ground. Through the power and grace of God, I’ve dealt with so many side effects of it, but oddly, until now, I’ve somehow overlooked its primary source.”
Similar to her other books, the “primary source” of her problem, issue, pit, ungodly thing, etc., is not her sin nature. In this case, the source is insecurity. It is “one issue that causes countless others.” Her addictions, poor decisions, unhealthy relationships, all have sprung from a heart and mind bound by insecurity. I don’t doubt that insecurity plays a major part in our decision-making processes; however, it is not the root of our problem. Our sin nature is the root of our problem. [See Sunday Study: Total Depravity]
Had she begun with sin and moved into how our sin problems feed our fear and insecurity, I think she would have written a much better book. Maybe I’ll write that book someday. ;)
Finally, Moore calls herself a “research freak” and confesses to loving the research process “as much as the writing.” In the case of SLI, however, Moore could not find many books that specifically deal with insecurity. It kind of surprises me that she only references five other books and that she couldn’t find more to use. Instead, she turned to her blog community. She explains that more than 1,200 people answered her questions that went into the “research” portion of this book. Therefore, the majority of what she writes regarding how insecure women think and behave comes from personal experience and the personal experiences of her blog’s readers. Through the internet, Moore was able to gather data from 1200 men and women from every corner of the globe. I think that’s pretty amazing. And I’m looking forward to their answers to her questions.
Chapter 1 tomorrow!