Perfecting Ourselves to Death
Honored in 2006 as a "Year's Best Book for Preachers" by Preaching magazine Perfect body. Perfect clothes. Perfect family. Perfect house. Perfect job. We strive for excellence in all areas of our lives. And there's nothing wrong with...
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Honored in 2006 as a "Year's Best Book for Preachers" by Preaching magazine
We strive for excellence in all areas of our lives. And there's nothing wrong with a healthy, mature pursuit of excellence. But what begins as healthy and normal can sometimes become neurotic and abnormal, leading to debilitating thoughts and behaviors:
eating disorders anxiety and depression obsession and compulsions fear of failure relational dysfunction In Perfecting Ourselves to Death, Richard Winter explores the positive and negative effects of perfectionism on our lives. He looks at the seductive nature of perfectionism as it is reflected in today's media. He examines the price and perils of perfectionism. And he explores the roots of perfectionism, delving into what originally awakens this drive in us. After analysing the negative feelings and defeatist behaviours that unhealthy perfectionism births, he provides practical strategies for how to change.
"The important thing to see," writes Winter, "is that we are to strive to become better people, not just to be content with who we are or how we measure up to the standards of the culture around us." For Christians this means becoming more like Christ in every area of our lives.
Here is the "perfect" book for those who struggle with perfectionism and for those pastors, counsellors and friends who want to understand and help perfectionists.
Richard Winter explores the positive and negative effects of perfectionism on our lives and offers fascinating insight and instruction into the healthy pursuit of excellence and perfection.
Richard Winter, a psychiatrist, is professor of practical theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. His books include The Roots of Sorrow: Reflections on Depression and Hope, Choose Life: A Christian Perspective on Abortion and Embryo Experimentation, Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion and Wonder and Perfecting Ourselves to Death: The Pursuit of Excellence and the Perils of Perfectionism.
- 1. The Seductive Sirens Of Perfectionism
- 2. The Pursuit Of Excellence: Healthy Or Unhealthy Perfectionism?
- 3. Types Of Perfectionism
- 4. Depression, Anger And Eating Disorders
- 5. Worry, Anxiety And Obsessions
- 6. The Thought Patterns Of Perfectionism
- 7. Genes And Temperament
- 8. Shame And Guilt
- 9. Parental Influences
- 10. The Pressures Of Culture And Media
- 11. Anal Fixations And Other Weird And Wonderful Ideas
- 12. Perfectionism And Pride: The Road To Hell . . . Or Heaven?
- 13. Learning To Live With Imperfection: Strategies For Change
- 14. The Search For Identity And Purpose
- 15. Toward Maturity: The Healthy Pursuit Of Excellence And Perfection
- Appendix: Perfectionism In History And Religion
- Name Index
- Subject Index
- Scripture Index