"Fight: Winning the Battles that Matter Most", by Craig Groeschel (book review)

INTRODUCTION: When I requested a review copy of “Fight: Winning the Battles that Matter Most”, I had a feeling I knew what it would be about – men and lust.  To be fair, it’s not entirely what this book was about, but pretty close to it.  Author and Pastor Craig Groeschel attempted to instill the "warrior mentality" in his readers.  I will briefly provide my opinion, and then explain what I liked about the book, and what I did not.

OPINION: I think Groeschel missed the mark with this book.  He teaches on necessary topics, but he employs the world’s fear-based scare tactics for achieving righteous living.  It wasn't a biblical model.  Sure, he quoted lots of good and applicable scripture, and he even offers the plan of salvation, redemption, and grace.   But I think he failed to point his readers attention and focus to a holy and righteous God;  he failed to explain that we ought to live rightly BECAUSE our holy Savior paid the ultimate price to redeem us from bondage of sin;  He failed to describe that we who are born of the Spirit now live in His presence, and that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit ought to inspire us to holiness.   I'm not suggesting this makes the life-transformation process any easier, but we really need not look to fear and guilt tactics.

METHODOLOGY: Craig Groeschel’s methodology in this book is to provide encouragement and admonishment for today’s men from the life of biblical Samson.  He hopes to instill in men the warrior's heart and mindset.  He makes it clear in the early pages of this short book that it is intended for men, but that women can still benefit from reading it. 

LIKES: Groeschel is colorful, funny, and descriptive in his story-telling, which makes the texts he’s using truly come alive.  And since this book is based upon the life of Samson, one could easily see how there could be a lot to describe.

I also like how short the book is – 150 small pages.  I’m a big fan of authors who can say what they WANT to say, as well as say what NEEDS to be said in short order.  Let’s face it, there are a lot of books we’ve read wherein we can hardly remember the general theme, let alone any of the chapters.  Many authors drone on-and-on, thinking a lengthy book will appear more scholarly.  Groeschel, on the other hand, gets right to it in this book.  Bam!  This will prove especially useful if someone plans to gift the book to a young man or unbelieving friend.  It will certainly capture and keep a reader’s attention.  I read it in 2 days.

DISLIKES: OK, on to what matters most.  Quite frankly, so many pastors and Bible teachers appeal to fear and guilt tactics in attempts to scare Christian men (and women) away from sinful behavior.  It’s as if they don’t trust the Holy Spirit to do what He does best: convict His people of our sin.  So, they add what they think needs to be added -- fear and guilt. 

For example (and these are not quotes, but general themes presented in the book):

(1)“If you don’t stop looking at porn, your sin will eventually find you out.  What will you say to your wife when she catches you searching porn on the Internet?  What will you do when your wife leaves you?” 

(2)Or how about this, “If you don’t have integrity at work, how will you answer your boss when he asks why you don’t have your assigned project done – again?  Don’t be surprised when you don’t get that promotion or pay raise.” 

(3)Or, “Spend time with your children and keep your promises, otherwise they will grow up and it will be too late to make a difference.”

I recognize that authors and pastors who use these techniques are well-meaning, but are they truly biblical?  What does the Bible say is the reason we should abstain from lust?  What does the Bible say about our work ethic?  What does the Bible say about raising our children?

I’ll help you. 

(1)We ought to avoid lust NOT PRIMARILY because “our sin will find us out.”  I think that phrase has been misused.  I do not think it means that sin will necessarily catch up to you and crush your reputation, your marriage, etc.  Instead, sin – according to the Bible – will “find you out” or “catch up to you” in that you will have to live with the guilt of violating a holy, perfect God -- whether or not your wife, your boss, or your kids discover anything in your closet.  The wise writer in Proverbs wrote, How can a man take fire into his lap and not be burned?” (Prov. 6:27). This doesn’t necessarily imply unwanted pregnancy, or divorce, STD’s, etc.  Instead, it seems to point first and foremost to our guilt for offending a holy God with our sin – not just sexual sin, either.  Your sin is an offense – FIRST AND FOREMOST – against God;  not your wife; not your children; not your church.  But God.

(2)We ought to have integrity in our work ethic NOT PRIMARILY because we will miss out on promotions and pay raises; not because we will disappoint our bosses.  Instead, the Bible says we ought to work as though we were directly employed by Jesus Christ himself (Col 3:23).  He has blessed us with that job in the first place.  Prove your thankfulness by working hard, in spite of any and all circumstances.  After all, what if you never received even a head-nod from your employer for all the hard working hours you logged over the years?  Would you instead rebel and retaliate?  Would you grow bitter?  Or would you press on, knowing you’re working for Christ?

(3)Finally, we ought to spend time with our children NOT PRIMARILY because they will grow up so fast that we may miss those cuddly years; not primarily because we risk letting them down with failed promise after failed promise.  Instead, the Bible says we ought to “walk” (spend time) with our children day and night, teaching them the things of God when they lie down and when they rise up (Deut 11:19).  We must instruct and discipline them carefully so as not to exasperate them and drive them away from Christ (Eph 6:4).  Our aim as parents is not to keep cuddly kids in their cute years, but to raise them to serve Christ and be God-fearing contributors to his Body. 

RATING: I give “Fight” 2 1/2 out of 5 stars.  I didn't like the typical fear factor approach, and I wasn't truly inspired to the ranks of "warrior" with this one.  The book lists around $15, but I wouldn't pay that even for the hard cover version, to be honest.

Disclaimer:  I received this book free from Booksneeze (Zondervan Publishers with Thomas Nelson Publishers) in exchange for my unbiased review of it.  All opinions are mine.  I have not been threatened, promised favors, or coerced in any way to provide a positive review.


  1. Thanks for the unbiased review. Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart." When we delight ourselves in Him our desires change, it really is as simple as that. We are a people called to admit we are broken, weak, blind and lame, and then to call on the One who is the opposite of all those things and whose very LIFE is available to flow through us. We are Never never never commanded to try harder especially out of fear. All that we do we do from a place of rest and trust in what He has done!

  2. Deut. 14:26 "You may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household." I have never heard a message on this, because grace at its essence is very scary to religious man. God recognizes that we are Spirit, soul and body and He is the answer to all our needs, but we pretend we know better and write books and books and more books.