Run to Win: The Lifelong Pursuits of a Godly Man, by Tim Challies
Anyone can start a race, but it takes planning and training to finish it..
Christian Manhood Book
A good long-distance runner knows the importance of planning his race. As he passes the starting line he is already considering how he will cross the finish line. As he takes his first easy step, he has planned how he will take his last grueling step.
As a Christian man, you are already running the race of life. You are not competing against other people, but against the deadly enemies of the world, the flesh, and the devil. How do you plan to maintain your pace throughout this race? To obtain the prize, you will need to run to the very end. You will need to cross that finish line. And to do that, you will need to plan your race. You will need to plan the ways you will run today so you can continue to run in the difficult days ahead. That is what this book is all about.
Tim Challies is a Christian, husband to Aileen, and father of three children. He is a co-founder of Cruciform Press and has written several books including Do More Better, Devoted, Seasons of Sorrow, and Sexual Detox. He worships and serves as a pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto, Ontario and writes daily at http://www.challies.com.
Aaron Lee –
Sports are everywhere. The NBA. The NFL. The Olympics. While there are much inspiration and motivation to see in our favorite athletes, we must not miss the metaphor the Bible gives us in training, competing, running, and winning. In Run to Win – The lifelong Pursuits of a Godly Man, Tim Challies hopes to help men successfully cross the finish line of life.
In this book, blogger, author, and book reviewer Tim Challies gives us a three-part game plan for Christian discipline. In Part 1: Disciplines of Faith, we look at the basic Christian disciplines of embracing our purpose, knowing our doctrine, practicing our devotion, and prioritizing our church. In Part 2: Disciplines of Life, Challies gives us practical help in redeeming our time, pursuing our vocation, and controlling our sexuality. In Part 3: Disciplines of Relationship, we tackle the big responsibilities of accepting our leadership, treasuring our marriage, and nurturing our children.
This short book is less than 200 pages long, and Challies wastes no time or space with elaborate stories or trite phrases. Those familiar with his blog articles will feel comfortable with his straightforwardness, and those new to his writing will find it immensely practical. Scripture is used to back up his outlined claims and he often gives us concrete steps or examples to follow.
A Godly Man
What I appreciate most is his directness. As I have found to be typical of Challies, he is not afraid to write about taboo topics. For instance, in Chapter 12: Control Your Sexuality, he calls for men to stop masturbating, bounce your heart (not just your eyes), get accountability, surrender 100% of your sexuality to God and 100% of your sexual energy to your wife. He does not expect us to be perfect, however, so he also directs us to seek and receive forgiveness in our sexual shortcomings. He writes as a man who understands, and that allows him to be blunt in his words.
This book is not all about self-motivation and a winning-mindset. Challies reminds us that we will fail in our callings if we do not rely on the strength of the Holy Spirit. And he points us to Christ, the founder, and perfector of our faith, who is the true and better example of what it means to be a man. I come away with a greater dependence on God to help me live a life that pleases him.
While I know that bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. This book will benefit men of all ages and in all stages of spiritual maturity. We must run our race and finish strong. I am reminded that every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
I was provided a free copy of Run to Win but was not required to write a positive review.
Ben Durand –
Run to Win is a very good book. Tim has given us a very helpful book in any season of life for a man. This is now the first book that comes to mind when I think about discipling men. Some reasons I like this book.
I love the versality of the book. This book can be given to a mature believing man or new believer. This book can serve as a refresher for older men or a blueprint for younger men. It could be given as a graduation gift for high schoolers or used by homeschoolers. This book could be read one on one or in a small group. It might be the Swiss Army knife of manhood books.
I love how the book is organized. I think this may be the book’s underappreciated strengths. I love the lay out. I think it is comprehensive in its scope. What aspect of manhood isn’t covered? None come to mind. From vocation to vacation, from marriage to ministry, Tim serves us well by calling us to run all of our race.
I love the application of the book. In addition to the book’s organization, I love that Tim exhorts us in each chapter heading. I don’t read a chapter on purpose, but I am exhorted to embrace my purpose. I am not just invited to consider the mind of a Christian man, I’m exhorted to renew my mind. This book invites one to move from theory to practice, from meditation to action, from the pew to the plough (pardon the farming analogy).
If you are looking for a helpful tool, grounded in the Gospel, rich in application, and realistic in its objective, I heartily commend it to you!