Peace over Perfection

Enjoying a Good God When You Feel You're Never Good Enough

By Faith Chang, afterword by Esther Liu
from 4 reviews

Help for those struggling with perfectionism and guilt in their Christian walk.

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Description

Many Christians, often without even realizing it, struggle with a type of Christian perfectionism. We strive to please God but are plagued with anxiety about making mistakes. We want to do God’s will but live with a self-berating inner voice even as we seek to serve him. We sincerely believe the gospel and love Jesus but struggle with never feeling good enough before God.

How can Christians wholeheartedly pursue God without an undercurrent of guilt, fear, or anxiety? How can imperfect people experience God's peace while seeking to obey his perfect standards?

Author Faith Chang addresses the struggles of her fellow "Christian perfectionists" through meditations on God’s character. With nuance and care, she writes for those who seek to grow in Christ and live for God’s glory yet live in fear of failure. She explores the Bible to show that as God deals with us as in-process people, he is far more merciful, righteous, and patient than we may have imagined. As we consider how he interacts bountifully with us, the weary and scrupulous Christian perfectionist will be freed to pursue God while experiencing his love and peace.

There are prayers between each chapter for specific situations Christian perfectionists face, such as “A Prayer for When You Feel You’re a Fake.” Reflection questions are included for those reading the book in small groups or one on one.

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Contents

  •  Introduction

    1. The Perfectionist’s Ache

    A Prayer for Rest

    2. Knowledge

    A Prayer for When You Fear You’re a Fake

    3. Mercy

    A Prayer for When You Hear the Voice of Condemnation

    4. Law

    A Prayer for When You Feel Like You’re Always Doing Something Wrong

    5. Peace

    A Prayer for When You’re Afraid to Pray

    6. Patience

    A Prayer for When All You Can See Is All Your Failures

    7. Providence

    A Prayer for When You Fear Missing His Voice (For All That’s Left Undone)

    8. Love

    A Prayer for When Your Best Doesn’t Feel Good Enough

    9. There Remains a Rest

    Appendix: Discussion/Journaling Questions & Resources for Further Study

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Specification

Contributors Faith Chang, Esther Liu
ISBN 9781784989859
Format Paperback
First published April 2024
Dimensions 5.3" x 8.5" x 0.5"
Weight 8.57 oz
Language English
Pages 176
Publisher The Good Book Company
Endorsements

Brad Hambrick

Pastor of Counseling, The Summit Church, Durham, NC; Author, God’s Attributes: Rest for Life Struggles

New authors have a way of bringing fresh perspectives to stubborn struggles. That is what Faith Chang does with perfectionism. If you’ve found yourself pursuing a good goal (holiness) in an exhausting way (perfectionism), Peace over Perfection offers a fresh voice and fresh perspective. Through the hope of the gospel, you’ll learn to pursue godliness in a way that rests in the reality that God is for you—as a good Father. A book rooted in prayer, Peace over Perfection invites you to talk with God about your journey and enjoy his presence in your in-process life.


Josiah Pettit

Director, Westminster Bookstore

Reading Peace over Perfection is like arriving at one of the ‘safe homes’ along the path in The Pilgrim’s Progress—a place of sustenance and encouragement to shut out the terrors and temptations that haunt the ‘Christian perfectionist’ in their journey toward the heavenly rest of the Celestial City. Faith’s welcoming tone gives space to exhale and recalibrate, each chapter pairing a specific challenge of perfectionism with gospel help, proving she’s walked the hard paths too. And while reading this book will provide respite, it won’t leave you resting. The discussion questions and prayer prompts—if sincerely applied—will drive you out the door and on the road again, seeking out other pilgrims along the way.

Andrew Ong

Pastor of Care and Discipleship, Christ Church East Bay, Berkeley, CA

Full of impactful quotes and anecdotes that will most definitely be shared from my pulpit for years to come, Peace over Perfection is written with authentic vulnerability, empathetic understanding, and a deep insight into the heart of God toward his bumbling yet beloved children. Writing as one who has walked and frequently fallen from the arduous tightrope so familiar to fellow perfectionists, Faith invites us off our tightropes altogether, offering us a far better vision that neither downplays our flaws nor cheapens God’s love, but locates us within the firm and tender (nail-pierced) hands of God in order that we might experience the true depths of our sin and yet never without the even higher heights of God’s grace.

Customer reviews


March 25, 2024

“Gospel Truth for Perfectionists”

First off, the cover design is beautiful, so I totally judged a book by its cover on this one. However, the premise of the book also got me. As Christians, we can struggle with a unique strain of perfectionism. We strive toward the example set for us by Jesus Christ, but we are acutely aware of how far we fall short. We know that one day our faith will be sight & we'll stand before Him with our robes washed white. But here we are just struggling through mediocrity. How do we embrace the slow journey of sanctification, trusting that God knows best? This book walks you through those struggles & where the Gospel meets us at each turn.


March 22, 2024

“A must read for the perfectionist believer!”

“‘Even when I try to obey God very carefully, I often feel that it is not quite right.’ The good things we do are never good enough. We second-guess our ‘simple everyday’ actions, afraid of inadvertently sinning.” We experience “an unease in our soul… [a] sort of relational tension.”

Do you relate?

In “Peace Over Perfection” author Faith Chang writes to help fellow Christian perfectionists in our struggles. She shares how we can be plagued with anxiety, shame, and self-criticism and how to deal with this. With a heart that empathizes alongside us, she knows the struggle of wanting to live rightly before God yet fearing failure.

I was immediately drawn to this book as someone who struggles with the above and knowing this affects my life as a disciple of Christ. My hope was to find help in how this hinders my view of God and how I relate to Him; this book truly put words to these struggles while applying God’s Word to them.

I appreciated the use of Scripture and the prayer included at the end of each chapter. I can definitely see myself returning to these as needed!

Highlights:

“For the perfectionist, life is math. You enter values on one side of an equation, and on the other side, you get what you put in. Which is to say, there is no accounting for grace. But grace is at the heart of Christianity, and the beauty of grace is that it is the antithesis of input determining output. It is the opposite of getting what you deserve.”

“Christian perfectionists are often plagued with guilt over potential sin, even where there is none.”

“Knowing we were made in love for God’s good pleasure changes the way we work. In God’s home, you don’t have to earn your keep or prove you deserve your place.”

“God didn’t have to speak, but through his precious commands, he has spoken. And those who seek him need not fear missing his voice.”

Thank you to the publisher for gifting me a copy of this book.


March 20, 2024

“good reminders”

I think Chang's book is a great resource for many believers and non-believers who struggle with the lies that we can never be good enough for God.

Chang structures the book with an introduction, nine chapters and an appendix. Each chapter focuses on a specific feeling or perspective that fuels the lies of not being good enough. The argument is that all of these feelings and perspective stem from perfectionism. In the first chapter, Chang writes:

"You can sincerely believe the Gospel and love Jesus while struggling, even to the point of despair, with never feeling good enough before God." This describes the whole premise of the book. Change dives into where this mentality comes from and how to combat it with faith and Scripture.

Each chapter concludes with a powerful prayer specifically related to the chapter's characteristic of Christ that we are striving to learn and implement as we overcome the perfectionism.

What Chang presents in this book not new and is not necessarily profound but rather good reminders of who we are in Christ and trusting His promises in Scripture.

I received a copy of this book from The Good Book Company in exchange for an honest review.


March 8, 2024

“An Antidote to a Common Problem”

I don't know about you, but when I think of what God has done for me, I want to live a completely changed life and that sometimes strays into perfectionism and thinking that everything has to be without fault if it's to be good enough! Chang's book is a really helpful antidote to that and was a joy to read, helping me to realise quite how patient and merciful God is and why I don't need to fear making mistakes! Instead, I can enjoy God's love for me and rest in that!

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Peace over Perfection | Faith Chang, Esther Liu |
$16.99 $14.44