Friday, August 16, 2013

Book Review: Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist by Amanda Jenkins

This book, Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist (learning to be free) by Amanda Jenkins, shook me to the core. I don't think it was written with that intent. It's a scriptural, light-hearted and fun take on one woman's struggles with what is, quite honestly, the demon of perfectionism. For me, a raging perfectionist in my own right, this book was far more challenging and gut wrenching. I've done the things she's done. I've thought the thoughts that she thought. And just as she sees the sin of it all, so I see my own sin through the pages of this book.

Jenkin's brutal honesty, both about herself and about what scripture has to say is what I found most engaging about this book. She lets us see into her thoughts and life, blemishes and all. She is a real person, not the know-it-all Christian, nor the false humility Christian that we see in so much Christian living literature today. She struggles with drinking too much diet Coke and with judging herself for it. She hasn't conquered her perfectionism, but she is improving on it day by day. As a perfectionist, the vast majority of Christian advice I get is "give yourself grace", which is like telling a hardened alcoholic to "just don't drink". The problem isn't that simple, and without Jesus, is near possible to conquer. Amanda Jenkin's admits this in a very down to earth manner and gives advice and insight where she can, while simply commiserating with her reader other times. It's like talking to a wise friend who shares your same issues.

I highly recommend this book to any and all perfectionists, male and female, and to most women who get caught up in the comparison trap so ingrained in our female culture. There is freedom for us and a book like this can be the first step.

This book was given to me free of charge by Tyndale House Publishers in return for my honest review.

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