We are supposed to be perfect, aren't we? We women certainly feel the pressure to be perfect – the perfect wife, the perfect mom, the perfect women's ministry leader.
But Carroll says being a perfectionist, trying to be perfect, means trouble. She helps us understand how it affects our relationships (including our relationship with God), how it leads to feelings of failure, and how it over burdens us with responsibility.
Breaking up with perfect is not easy, especially when it has been with us so long. It can only be done by the power of God. Carroll, a recovering perfectionist, knows what she writes about. She shares many of her own struggles from her journey.
I really like that she explains how our beliefs shape us. There are certainly ramifications for believing what is not true. She helps us see that we are to put relationships over our perfection drive. She also helps us find out what defines us and whether we are driven by looking for other people's approval. I was really convicted when she talked about playing the blame game. I appreciate her clarifying being a perfectionist as opposed to the work of God perfecting us. She also unpacks the “be perfect” Scripture, helping us understand it.
The strength of this book is in the extensive study section at the end. The questions at the end of each chapter are good for discussion, but the questions in the end section really go deeper and require honest thinking. They are good for individual use or for discussion within a trusted group.
I like that Carroll admits she does not have it all together. In fact, she writes, “...my life is far from perfect. And, I'm okay with that … for the first time ever.” If you are struggling with the pressure to be perfect, I recommend this very readable and encouraging book.
Food for thought:
“Seeing ourselves correctly as both loved and sinful is key to ending our love affair with Perfect.”
Amy Carroll is a popular speaker and founder of Next Step Speaker Services, which is an arm of Proverbs 31 Ministries. She is a regular contributor to Encouragement for Today devotions. She has a degree in early childhood education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She and her husband and their two boys live in Holly Springs, NC. You can find out more about her speaking ministry at http://proverbs31.org/speakers/amy-carroll/ and follow her blog at http://amycarroll.org/.
Howard Books, 240 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.