Fight: Winning the Battles That Matter Most
by Craig Groeschel
Fight is a book for guys. Really. In every way, it’s designed to appeal, minister to, and address a male audience stylistically and in content. Groeschel says that pretty clearly up front, encouraging women readers to just put the book down because it’s “not for you.” I was sent the book to review, though, so as a woman I pressed on and kept reading. After all, sometimes it’s a help for me to better understand where my husband is coming from.
The book essentially argues that men are designed to fight, created by God to be holy warriors, and encourages Godly men to step up and fight the battles worth winning against sin and for their marriages, families, finances and personal holiness.
Interestingly enough, Groeschel chooses to study the account of Samson in the Bible–God’s champion-gone-bad—mostly as an anti-hero, one that reminds men of what happens when they squander their potential, refuse their calling, and give into temptation rather than discipline themselves through obedience. It’s not often that we really examine the story of Samson, other than to tell the sordid story of Delilah, and I think it is valuable to look at Biblical characters not just for the examples they give us of what to do, but also to show us what not to do. Samson certainly fits into that category.
As a woman, I was struck by how much of the book addresses men’s emotional reactions, but not in a way that is typical of more female-focused material. Groeschel argues that, while women run the gamut of emotional responses, guys generally experience anger. Maybe it’s directed at themselves, others, God, the situation or anything else, but generally it’s anger that drives their reactions. So, Groeschel focuses here, on disciplining male emotions and overcoming anger or at least redirecting it. He also covers the topics of pride, lust (lots and lots of time spent on this topic), envy, greed, and the small steps that lead guys closer and closer to habitual and devastating sin.
The chapters are extremely brief and the book itself is fairly short. It’s a quick read with amusing anecdotes and personal stories with humor that will resonate with a male audience. Overall, Groeschel is undemanding of his audience, never requiring extended attention, lengthy reading sessions, or even in-depth study.
Perhaps that leads to my main criticism of the book. It was hard to tell from place to place or chapter to chapter exactly what the extended argument was here. It seemed like a series of nearly disconnected chapters, like mini-talks or podcasts, strung together loosely under the theme of “stuff guys deal with.”
In the final chapters, he seems to hone in on a final push for self-discipline and holiness, but he meanders his way there in the previous chapters. The overall progression seems jumpy as a result. A little bit on lust here, a little bit on pride there, a little bit on how men need to fight and then back to lust again and maybe another discussion of lust a little later on, as well. The discussions on Samson seemed secondary to the topic, added in to provide Biblical anti-examples, but not really the driving force behind the book.
Overall, this book will probably work well for guys, holding their attention, addressing practical problems, and encouraging them to step up as holy warriors for God, not being knocked out by sin, temptation, lack of discipline, and selfishness.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”