Dr. Tim Clinton helps men bounce back after failure with his usual encouragement and godly advice in his new book, co-authored with Max Davis, Take It Back: Reclaiming Biblical Masculin—The Heart and Strength of Being a Man.
"The human condition involves making mistakes, and men have been running in the wrong direction for far too long, hanging their heads in shame over past mistakes that have given them an unflattering label," Clinton says.
He uses football player Roy Riegels' story to illustrate his point:
In the 1929 Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, California, in front of 60,000 screaming fans, "California's Roy Riegels scooped up a Georgia Tech fumble and began running like an Olympic sprinter toward the goal line," Clinton says. "There was only one problem: Riegels ran 69 yards in the wrong direction!"
Finally taken down by one of his own teammates at the one-yard line, Riegels was so upset and humiliated by his mistake that he felt there was no way he could show his face before the crowd, much less play another down.
"On the bench all he could do was hang his head in shame," Clinton says.
"'Roy, get up and go back,' his coach ordered. 'The game is only half over!'
"We can stay on the bench after our screwups, with our heads hung in shame, or we can rise up, get back in the game and let God 'flip the script' of our lives," Clinton says. "Ashamed and distraught, yet urged on by his coach and teammates, Riegels somehow willed himself back in the game. Not only did he play again, but he turned in an all-star performance."
It takes great courage and strength to overcome the terror of showing our faces after such a humiliating mistake. It seems impossible, yet through his strong faith and with the support of his teammates bolstering him, Riegels was able to go on to achieve success. And, despite the fact that his gaffe cost his team the game, Riegels went on to serve as a major in the United States Army Air Corps in World War II and, after the war, became a successful businessman. Motivational speakers love telling his story to encourage their listeners that overcoming mistakes, even seemingly tragic ones, is still possible with God's help. His story serves as a strong reminder that even though men make mistakes in all areas of their lives, the only way to recover from those mistakes is to "get up and go back." But how does a man find the inner strength to do this?
As Dr. Clinton writes in Take It Back, a lesson can be applied in all areas of men's lives—even in issues of morality and sin. This is even more meaningful today, especially when dealing with startling statistics such as these:
— A 2010–2016 survey reported that 20% of husbands have affairs, with higher percentages among older married men.
— A survey reported that 74% of all married men said they would have an affair if they would never get caught.
— A 2016 Barna study reported that 64% of Christian men view pornography at least once a month, and 21% say they are addicted.
— One in five youth pastors and 1 in 7 senior pastors use pornography regularly.
"Men are in deep trouble with sin," Clinton says. "And sin doesn't just destroy our own souls. It destroys our relationships, our families and the souls of the ones we love most. When we don't step up and turn away from ungodliness, sin rules us, and the consequences are frightening.
"Only by living through the power of the Holy Spirit can a man fulfill the purpose for which he was designed," Clinton continues. "We need to let go of the shame because of our screwups, get back in the game and play our hearts out!
"Men, we have a choice," he adds. "We can give in to sin and toxic behavior, or we can embrace righteousness. We can stay on the bench after our screwups with our heads hung in shame, or we can rise up, get back in the game and let God flip the script of our lives."
In Take It Back: Reclaiming Biblical Masculinity—The Heart and Strength of Being a Man, Clinton, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors, challenges readers to reject the culture's redefinition and seek biblical examples of true manhood. Fast-paced, filled with relevant, biblical stories of godly men like David and Nehemiah, and contemporary stories of godly men like George Foreman and Tim Tebow, Take It Back empowers men to be who God created them to be and to impact a culture in desperate need of their influence. Study and discussion questions at the end of each chapter make Take It Back a perfect resource for men's Bible studies and small groups.
Dr. Tim Clinton, EdD, LPC, LMFT, is president of AACC, the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. Clinton also serves as co-host of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk, heard on nearly 1400 radio outlets daily. Licensed as a professional counselor and as a marriage and family therapist, Clinton is recognized as a world leader in mental health and relationship issues and spends much of his time working with Christian leaders and professional athletes. He has authored or edited nearly 30 books. Clinton and his wife, Julie, have two children and a granddaughter.
Max Davis is the author of over 30 books that have been featured in USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, Bible Gateway, and on the Today show and The 700 Club. He holds degrees in journalism and biblical studies. In addition to his own works, he's done a variety of collaboration projects with highly notable leaders.
Take It Back was released on April 6 by Charisma House, which publishes books that challenge, encourage, teach and equip Christians.
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