Howard Books, 2019
An award-winning author, former presidential speechwriter, and mother of four weaves stories of her struggles against comparison and impossible expectations with those of seven ex-perfectionist saints (and one heretic) who show us how to pursue a new kind of perfection: freedom in Christ.
Certain it was finally time for hubby to conquer his perfectionist tendencies once and for all, I searched online for helpful articles. An interview with Colleen Carroll Campbell enlightened me. (It turns out that hubby is not the only perfectionist in our household.) I picked up Campbell’s book next.
Each chapter in this engaging book focuses on a saint who wrote about struggling with traits of perfectionism. While telling their stories, Campbell points to the saints’ increased emphasis on grace as they matured.
Campbell also identifies the common avenues, and the subtle and unexpected ways, that perfectionism defines our modern lives. She shares just enough about being a mother of four to provide perspective.
After reading this book, I began to think of perfectionism differently than I had before. I questioned whether my own search for perfection was the way to honor God I said it was, or if it were simply an excuse to retain as much control as possible of my life. There are no easy answers here. And this book showed me that when I struggle to keep on the right side of the balance, I’ll be in good company.
How about you, reader? Do you struggle with perfectionism? Do you love someone who does?