I was first introduced to Craig Groeschel from a book given to me titled, Confessions of A Pastor back in 2007. I thoroughly enjoyed that book and many of Craig's stories as he becomes vulnerable and open with his life. In 2010, I purchased and read another one of his books titled, The Christian Atheist. I again appreciated the stories, insights, and thoughts as well. In 2014, I discovered his book Fight.
I was not exactly sure what I was going to get out of a book clocking in at just over 150 pages. On the back cover, the book claims to help male readers uncover who they really are -- powerful men with hearts of warriors. It alone has spawned a DVD series as a course for men to study.
Craig's premise is based primarily on the story of Samson found in the book of Judges in the Old Testament Bible. His main message is for men to not just fight as men, but to fight as men of God which at times can be very different from the type of fighting the world perceives. This book focuses on men's issues and Craig shares some stories from his life as well as lessons from Samson's life. Groeschel tells men instead of fighting life's battles with their own limited strength, to instead tap into the limitless strength of an all-powerful God who wants to help men win every battle for his causes. Groeschel challenges men to think differently in their battles. Turning 'I want it' to 'I want God'; 'I deserve it' into 'I deserve death'; And 'I can handle it' into 'I can't handle anything without God'.
What I first appreciated was how small the chapters were. Although that seems like such a minor aspect to praise, I cannot tell you how much I appreciated the many times I only had 5 minutes of free time, yet it was enough to tackle a chapter. I loved the convenience of not having to reserve a large block of time just to tackle one chapter. Out of all the biblical men Craig could have easily used, he chose the often overlooked story of Samson which to me is a great decision for this book. Although men today do not have the supernatural strength that God granted Samson, it surprised me how similar attributes, qualities, struggles, and shortcomings men share with this character. There were plenty of life lessons men can gain from reading the story of Samson; More often from the foolish decisions Samson made rather than the wise decisions which Groeschel explains well.
"I'm willing to die for the cause to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ." - page 25/26
"If you lose the fight against temptation, denying God's call on your life, ignoring the gifts he's given you, living for yourself instead of for the people he made you to stand in the gap for, you could be even worse off." - page 55/56
"A man doesn't ruin his life all at once. He does it one step at a time." - page 102
One part that bothered me is Craig's 'bloody knife popsicle' analogy. This is a great analogy to teach men about the dangers of dabbling in sin and sexual immorality. The illustration shows how men treat this as not a serious issue to the point that they enjoy it so much, they do not realize they are destroying their own lives. The illustration is not what bothered me. The problem I have is that this is now at least the 4th book Groeschel has used it. The over usage sends a few negative messages to me. For as many great books Groeschel has written, this showed a lack of using fresh ideas and possibly a bit of laziness. Also, for a 151 page book, to be using this analogy yet again, it made me feel like this teaching was recycled to pump out another quick book to make a few quick dollars. It overall turns me off as a reader when any author does this. I do not claim this to be Groeschel's intentions at all. It could have easily been good intentions to use this analogy as it applied to the topic of all those books. I would hope that if he were to publish another book, that it would stand out on its own without recycling any information from his previous works.
I am not sure if I would suggest this book for men to buy and read as the ultimate inspiration they need to tackle whatever battles they are going through. With several other books about men's issues at much longer lengths than 151 pages, I would also not consider this the gold standard for men to read. There are still some helpful insights that men can take away from this book.
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