Peace over Perfection

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

By Faith Chang, afterword by Esther Liu
from 8 reviews

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

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Description

Many Christians, often without even realising 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 serve 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 to 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 135mm x 216mm x 13mm
Weight 0.24 kg
Language English
Pages 176
Publisher The Good Book Company
Endorsements

Linda Allcock

Author, Deeper Still

Relief—that was my experience of reading this wonderful book. Faith has expertly weaved her personal struggles and cultural background together with gospel truth and historical example to produce a deeply comforting and fresh exploration of Christian perfectionism.

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.


Aaron Lee

Editorial Curator, SOLA Network

Faith Chang is a natural storyteller, a gifted writer, and insightful and encouraging. In my anxious pursuit of perfection, Chang points me to Christ—the founder and perfecter of our faith—and his perfect love casts out my fear.


Customer reviews


15 Apr 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.


13 Apr 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 https://www.lifeisstory.com/nonfiction/peace-over-perfection-enjoying-a-good-god-when-you-feel-youre-never-good-enough-faith-chang/


2 Apr 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!


1 Apr 2024

“So insightful and beautifully written”

(Review written for 'Peace over Perfection (ebook)')

This book is full of insight on various facets of Christian perfectionism, helping reveal to me ways that I have struggled to live out Christ’s call to be perfect while acknowledging my sin and limitations and ways I have struggled to have a true mental framework rather than resignation to guilt. It’s also packed with passages of Scripture that demonstrate how God really wants us to live and view ourselves. I already know I will be returning to the prayers at the end of each chapter - these and the rest of the book are so well written and enjoyable to read.


25 Mar 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.


22 Mar 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.


20 Mar 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.


8 Mar 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 |
£9.99 £8.49