★★★★★ The Paradox of Perfection by Jeffrey Reber, PhD, LPC and Steven Moody, LCSW points out the many dangers of striving to be flawless. The authors argue that today, more than ever, people feel an intense pressure to achieve perfection. For Christians, the need to be perfect weighs uniquely heavy, as many believers think God requires his followers to be nothing short of immaculate. But The Paradox of Perfection turns this very notion on its head. Not only does Christianity allow for a less-than-saintly status, Reber and Moody explain, but our shortcomings and flaws are in fact what allow Christ’s love to go to work in our lives in the first place. Thus, the authors encourage their book’s readers to view imperfection in this more favorable—more forgiving—light. They do this by first dissecting the universal desire for perfection, then rebuilding and reframing what it means to be a good and worthy Christian in an uplifting and dramatically freeing way.
The Paradox of Perfection is an accessible read; it takes perfectionism—a topic that many people would rather not acknowledge, let alone examine in depth—and gives readers a warm, welcoming invitation to a better way of being. The authors’ backgrounds as instructors and certified therapists are evident in the book’s careful research, strong writing, and seamless flow. While the Christian faith and the teachings of Christianity are central here, atheists and believers of other faiths are sure to collect powerful nuggets of wisdom from this read, too. That’s because Reber and Moody describe kinder ways to exist in today’s world that entail, chiefly, greater love for self and others, which are teachings we can all stand to learn from in this tumultuous societal landscape.