“Whatever life you live, we women enmeshed with perfectionism want to always live up to expectations and never let anyone down. By definition, pleasing ourselves means pleasing and taking care of everybody else,” Amy Carroll writes in the introduction to her book, Breaking Up with Perfect: Letting Go of Perfection and Discovering More Joy.
This two hundred and twenty-nine page paperback targets those trying to overcome being perfectionists as they rely on God more deeply. The New International Version, The Message, and the New Living Translation of the Holy Bible are referenced.
After an introduction, the book is divided into four parts, ending with a list of ways to be not perfect, a chapter-by-chapter Bible study for individual or group use, acknowledgements, notes, author’s biography, and information on Proverbs 31 Ministries. Each chapter ends with three to four “transformation” questions.
The author considers that perfectionist women have either “the good girl” or “the not good enough girl” syndrome. In her first section, she tries to show readers both types of girls are filled with wrong beliefs as they keep lists of accomplishments, praises, disappointments, or failures.
The second part dwells on misplaced values and how to stop shaping incorrect perceptions of ourselves and others. Instead, we should conquer the skewed thoughts through knowing God’s value of us. The next area reflects on how we selfishly spend free time aiming for perfection when we should be nourishing friendships and serving our Savior. The final section focuses on repenting and changing by choosing Christ over wanting to be perfect.
Often noting personal experiences and memories, the writer reminisces about her husband, children, house decorating, ministry, mission trips to Ecuador and India, weight problems, 5K runs, and friends.
Interspersed throughout the chapters are Biblical characters such as Rachel, Leah, Tamar, Martha, Mary Magdalene, and Jesus along with Scripture from Genesis, Psalms, Mark, Luke, and Romans to name a few.
As Carroll explains the issues dealing with perfectionism, list keeping, striving, covetousness, and materialism, she is spot on that we humans fall short of the glory of God, will never be perfect, and need to rely on and trust in God instead of ourselves. She suggests to keep love lists instead of to-do lists, yet ironically, most of the book instructions are list-oriented.
Author and devotions writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries, Carroll is a popular speaker and the founder of Next Step Speaker Services. She and her husband have two sons and living in North Carolina.
Thanks to Howard Books for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.