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Peace over Perfection

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

By Faith Chang, afterword by Esther Liu
from 13 reviews

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

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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.

Product details


  •  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

Free extras


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 192
Publisher The Good Book Company

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

May 31, 2024

“A book I didn't know I needed.”

I never saw myself as a Christian perfectionist until I read this book. Perfectionist is not even a word that I would use to describe myself. Do I have areas that I am organized and like those things to stay that way? I most certainly do, but I do not have a great organizational system. It was not until Chang pointed out that Christian perfectionist often struggle with not "getting it right" all the time that leads to this type of perfection.

I often struggle with maybe if I would have shared the gospel in a better way then that person would have become a Christian. Maybe if I knew more about Theology then I would have been able to answer that question. Through reading this book, I was able to see that I often rely on my own power to save a person rather than relying on God. This was a book that I did not know that I needed to read because it pointed out areas in my life that I am not fully putting my trust in the Lord. Instead I spend my time contemplating the "what ifs."

Through out the course of this book, Chang uses her own personal struggles to show we are not alone in our fight against Christian perfectionism. I am grateful for her willingness to share her personal struggles with the world. This book would not have had the same impact on my life if it was not for Chang's vulnerability.

If I am honest, I felt like the prayers at the end of each chapter were very surface level. After being convicted in many ways, I would come to the time of prayer at the end of each chapter and I felt as if those prayers were nothing in comparison to how I was feeling after reading each chapter. Each chapter showed me areas where I was trying to save the word from a life in Hell without the one who can save them.

May 4, 2024

“A peaceful, encouraging read!”

“The invitation to come to Jesus is an invitation to be known.”

“Perfectionist” isn’t a word I’d use to describe myself; my phone storage is always full, I don’t have great organizational systems, and if you ride in my van, please don’t look around much 🫣
But Chang startled me with her description of perfection. “Though we usually define perfection by what it isn’t - ‘without fault,’ ‘flawless,’ or ‘free from error’- the fuller meaning of the word is ‘absolute’ or ‘complete,” she states. “[Perfection] smells more like the sweet nectar of a spring garden than the antiseptic of a surgery room.”
Armed with this new perspective, I saw myself in every page, and was left in awe by her encouraging words about who God is and who I am.
The all encompassing feeling from these pages: a deep, soul cleansing breath 💗

You’ll love this if you:
•have struggled with feeling “not good enough”
•have experienced legalistic teaching
•are looking for an encouraging, easy read
•want gentle encouragement to let go of toxic mindsets

Bonus: In complete honesty, I don’t always love prayers/questions at the end of chapters - it can feel so cheesy 🫣 BUT I loved the prayer prompts in this one as much as the content in the chapters.

Some favorite quotes:

“If drawing nearer to God is the goal, maybe we can aim to return to him a little quicker when we fall instead of staying away because we’re not yet perfect.”

“Through the law, we see how God fiercely protects the true, beautiful, and good.”

“In the goodness of creation, God gives me a taste of the Spirit’s freedom. He leads my soul to a spacious place.”

“He is fully committed to the real, whole you. Fully known, you are truly loved.”

Thank you @thegoodbookcompanyusa for a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. All thoughts are my own 🤗

May 2, 2024

“The Book I didn't Even know I needed”

I originally picked up this book because it resonated so much with the tagline ---- even though I know I am saved by grace, I am constantly trying to earn God's gold star of approval.

I am grateful for Chang's willingness to share her personal struggle with striving for perfection, specifically in the area of her faith. I think we all at times desire to be better,to do better, and that's not inherently wrong. But, it is when we become crippled by our constant repetition of sin, or allow shame and guilt to keep us from seeking God, we have a problem with perfection.

Change does a wonderful job of inviting us into tension—sanctification is the act of becoming more like Christ, so striving to be more like Him is a good thing. But in that striving, we embrace grace, we turn to Jesus, the perfector of our faith, not shamefully hide from Him.

I would recommend this book to anyone who feels that they are never good enough to be loved by God, whose lack of "getting it right" all the time leads to distancing themselves from the Father.

May 2, 2024

“An encouraging read grounded in Scripture”

This was a book I didn't know I needed to read. Faith has clearly yet empathetically described my struggle with a kind of spiritual perfectionism - a sincere belief in the gospel and love for Jesus yet "the constant discouragement that I'm not as joyful, selfless, humble, or loving as I should be as a Christian".

Throughout the chapters, Faith uses lots of Scripture and quotes from Christians before us to help me remember the beauty of the gospel and how God's love and commitment to His people propels me to keep living for Him imperfectly and faithfully, finding rest in my salvation and looking forward to a perfect eternal rest upon completing the race!

I especially love the prayers after each chapter. It has helped me drawn close to the Lord, giving me the words to cast all my struggles and anxieties onto Him.

This book is a balm to weary souls, and a helpful read to those who may resonate with the Christian perfectionism to understand the brothers and sisters around them who might be!

Thank you to The Good Book Company for a gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

April 29, 2024

“I liked it”

This book was written for those of us who struggle with guilt and perfectionism in our walk with the Lord. I really appreciated the focus on sanctification and how it’s a process!

”And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.“
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬ ‭

This was an encouraging read that focused on finding rest in the Lord by knowing His character and who we are in Him. I felt convicted about how perfectionism and guilt has caused me to focus on myself in my walk with the Lord rather than staying focused on trusting God’s love for me and His good plans for my life. Peace Over Perfection will help you to focus on the character of God rather than on your fear of not being good enough. This book is very well-written and Chang is vulnerable and relatable. She incorporates scripture throughout the book, a prayer at the end of each chapter and discussion questions at the end of the book.

Favorite Quotes:
“Because his knowledge of you is complete, you can trust the depths of his love for you” p. 39

“We need to know what God’s law really says so that our consciences can be recalibrated by God’s word.” P. 73

“‘Wonderful is the patience of the Lord, who can bear with us all at once!’ writes John Newton. ‘We, alas, can hardly bear with each other one at a time.’ Newton makes a case here for what I think is one of the biggest reasons why we find it so hard to think of God as patient. His patience surprises us because of how unlike us he is.” P 103

A couple of things I would have changed about this book:
-When talking about the patience of Jesus the author mentions that Jesus affirmed his disciples. That language sounds very modern and I think could be a problematic way to interpret Jesus relationship with his disciples.
-I would have left out the quotes by James KA Smith.

April 21, 2024

“Practical and full of truth”

I really enjoyed reading through this book. It is wonderful for those who struggle with Christian Perfectionism but also can provide insight if you don’t struggle with the topic but know someone who does.
Chang is clearly vulnerable, relatable and knowledgeable throughout the book as she shares her experiences and growth. She does a great job throughout the book reminding us who we are and who God is and what that means in the context of the topic for that chapter.
At the end of each chapter there is a prayer that relates to the chapter and at the end of the book there is an appendix with discussion questions and additional resources.
Perfectionism has real impacts and in my experience the topic can be easily dismissed which unfortunately means that it often is misunderstood. This book is great to understand Christian Perfectionism more and create a conversation around it that can be helpful for those who struggle with it.

April 15, 2024

“Loved this book!”

“God really knows just what I need.”

“This book was written just for me.”

“I didn’t realize others had these same struggles, I feel so seen!”

These were a few of my thoughts as I read through this book on Christian perfectionism recently. It really did seem as though this book was written just for me and truly, it was no coincidence that I found myself holding this particular book in my hands. I have found myself at battle in my mind against intrusive thoughts such as this book highlights, not really realizing it was a common or recognized issue in the body of Christ.

Faith Chang breaks down what Christian perfectionism really is and delves deep into the issue using Scriptures and her own research into the psychological aspects, along with her own personal experience and testimony and even written prayers at the end of each chapter that are tailored to help our hearts cry out for help.

Relatable and filled with a hopeful message and theme of overcoming and freedom — this book can be used by anyone who is seeking God’s will in their life but feels like they just don’t quite measure up. As children of the Most High, we can experience His peace (And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7) this side of eternity— this book shows us how.

I absolutely loved this book and found it to be so incredibly instrumental in healing and understanding my own thought process. I highlighted so many passages and actually plan to go over the book again in my own personal study.

Thank you to @thegoodbookcompanyusa & @keepingheartblog for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

April 13, 2024

“Helpful and Encouraging”

In this book, Faith Chang explains what Christian perfectionism is, explores some different manifestations of this problem, and shares biblical wisdom for how Christian perfectionists can find rest in their salvation and God's love for them. She also acknowledges potential mental health causes, and I appreciated her references to moral scrupulosity as a form of OCD.

Chang shares her own story to validate people's experiences with faith-based perfectionism, and she shares encouraging quotes from preachers and writers from Christian history. Each chapter also ends with a prayer addressing various facet of Christian perfectionism. The book addresses lots of different struggles, offering compassion and clear biblical encouragement, and Chang explores biblical teaching that relates to moral scrupulosity and feelings of guilt. She writes about God's love, our salvation in Christ, and the slow process of sanctification, highlighting core truths that correct distorted thought patterns and false beliefs.

People who feel overcome by guilt for the slightest infractions, or who feel discouraged because they never do enough, will find clarity and encouragement here. Chang primarily focuses on theology and biblical teaching, and some readers may find that this book's focus on right thinking doesn't speak to their need for emotional counseling and other forms of healing. Still, this can be helpful and clarifying for anyone who struggles with Christian perfectionism, and it will be eye-opening and transformative for readers who are stuck in distorted beliefs and thinking patterns.

Note: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is a shorter version of the review that I originally posted at

April 1, 2024

“A Timely Reminder!”

"Peace Over Perfection" by Faith Chang is a must-read for Christians battling perfectionism and guilt. I didn't realize how much I needed this book until I started reading it. Chang expertly guides readers through these struggles, showing how the Gospel meets us where we are. What makes this book stand out is its use of Scripture and prayers at the end of each chapter, making it a practical resource for spiritual growth. Great resource to have on hand!

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.

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Peace over Perfection | Faith Chang, Esther Liu |
$16.99 $10.19