Spiritual perfectionism—an obsession with flawlessness rooted in the belief that we can earn God’s love—is dangerous because so many of us mistake it for virtue. Its toxic cycle of pride, sin, shame, blame, and despair distorts our vision, dulls our faith, and leads us to view others through the same hypercritical lens we think God is using to view us.
As a lifelong overachiever who drafted her first résumé in sixth grade and spell-checked her high school boyfriend’s love letters, Colleen Carroll Campbell knows something about the perfectionist trap. But it was only after she became a mother that she started to see how insidiously perfectionism had infected her spiritual life, how lethal it could be to her happiness and her family, and how disproportionately it afflicts the people working hardest to serve God.
In the ruins of her own mistakes, Colleen dug into Scripture and the lives of the canonized saints for answers. She discovered to her surprise that many holy men and women were, in fact, recovering perfectionists. And their grace-fueled victory oer this malady—not perfectionist striving—was the key to their heroic virtue and contagious joy.
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