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The Real Win: A Man's Quest for Authentic Success Hardcover – May 7, 2013
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Q&A with Pastor Matt Carter
Q. Tell us a little about your relationship as quarterback and pastor/mentor. What made you decide to write a book together?
A. Colt and I met through our shared love of hunting. It’s something we’ve always enjoyed doing together, and it’s allowed us to have some pretty honest conversations about struggles, areas we’ve failed, and where we are weak. There was one trip in particular when we were discussing some areas of our marriage that we wanted to strengthen, and we realized that the issues we faced were all-to-typical for men. So it was out of these hunting trips that we were able to be honest about our lives, and come together on how the Bible speaks to these areas of sin and failure. It was actually Colt’s idea to put all of these truths we’ve learned into a book that would help other men avoid some of the typical pitfalls they fall into because of their God-given desire for success and winning.
Q. Why do so many guys invest their entire lives striving for the wrong kind of success? And what is the fall-out when that happens?
A. As we discuss in the book, success and winning is not inherently wrong, and the desire for those is God-given. But so many men chase after “the win” – whatever it is – instead of God because they think that having the win is going to bring them ultimate joy and fulfillment. Biblically this is called idolatry, and it happens because we have an innate sin problem that causes us to have a worship problem. The fall-out from this is any number of marital, familial, vocational, social, or spiritual ills. It’s wives that feel ignored by their husbands who are obsessed with work. It’s children that are raised as spiritual orphans because their dad never thought to leave them a spiritual legacy. It’s only when our focus and goal is set on worshipping Jesus and believing the gospel that we’ll begin to see real success in these areas.
Q. Can you describe a time where God showed you that what you thought was winning was actually losing?
A. One of the major regrets of my life so far is that I almost completely missed the first years of my daughter Annie’s life because of my relentless pursuit of growing a successful church. When she was born, things in our young church plant were really ramping up, and my time was more and more being consumed by my pastoral duties. I made a decision in that season to worship the recognition and approval I would get in having a great church, and as a result I sacrificed precious time with my baby girl and lost years with her that I’ll never get back. My pursuit of winning in my career actually meant losing the joy and success I could have had had I stuck with my primary calling from God to pastor my family.
Q. For our women readers, how can she encourage the men in her life, whether it’s a husband, father, or son, to pursue godly manhood?
A. Women have a huge role to play in the lives of the men they love, and they need to realize the weight that their voice carries in men’s lives when it comes to success and failure. Women can begin by seeing their men as leaders and treating them as such regardless of a man’s leadership track record. A lot of men I know have an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. Plain and simple, men will continue on autopilot unless they are faced head on with a problem to solve, a hill to climb, or a challenge to win. Women have the unique ability to present these challenges in marriage, family, or career to their men with a heart that believes in them and is there to cheer them on as they work toward success in what God has called them to. If men are presented with these challenges but instead are made to feel like a failure by the women they love, they will shrink back from their callings in discouragement and despondency.
Q. What does the real win mean for husbands? How do they successfully love their wives?
A. The ultimate picture of the real win for men is Jesus Christ, whether it is with work, church, family, or marriage. Because we have Jesus to look to in all these areas, we see that Jesus perfectly demonstrated how we are to love our wives. Jesus pursued His bride, the Church, even when she was ugly with sin. He pursued her to the point of laying his life down for her to make her holy and blameless and to demonstrate His love for her. This is the picture of success for husbands in loving their wives. To win in marriage means to pursue and lay down your life for your bride, and in effect, win her heart over and over again with the love with which Jesus has loved us.
Q. You write, “If you desire the real win, that means grabbing a shovel and going to work on your heart.” You then list the four main idols men struggle with. What are these, and how can God heal these empty pursuits?
A. The four main idols we struggle with are comfort, control, power, and approval, and the Bible talks about this as being the root of all of our problems be them workaholism, or marital strife. We desire the temporal comfort, control, power, or approval that the things and pursuits of this world entice us with more than we desire God, and they always lead us to emptiness and dissatisfaction. They promise a whole lot, but never deliver. Thankfully, God has promised our healing by sending us Jesus to pay the penalty for our idolatry and to give us a new heart with new desires if we repent of our sin and place our trust in Him for satisfaction. The more we turn our worship and focus over to God in every area of our life, the more we will see the areas that are broken become restored and whole.
Praise for The Real Win
“Colt McCoy and Matt Carter have joined arms to lead men to win. Not just
win in athletics or careers, but to win in life. The pages of this book are packed
with inspirational words and practical guidance. I heartily recommend it.”
—Max Lucado, pastor and best-selling author
“The Real Win: Pursuing God’s Plan for Authentic Success is a really good book.
It is honest, transparent, convicting, challenging, and instructive. It makes
plain what it really means to ‘be the man!’ Colt McCoy and Matt Carter invite
men to a higher and greater calling as they follow hard after the real man’s
man, Jesus of Nazareth.”
— Daniel L. Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Men hate asking for directions a little more than they hate to read. It isn’t that
we can’t read; it’s just that we need something that keeps our interest and gives
us practical help. Welcome to that book. The Real Win will help you grow in
your faith so that you can be the man God has called you to be.”
—Darrin Patrick, lead pastor of The Journey
“A gut-wrenching, soul-piercing book that wrestles honestly with questions
every man asks and emotions every man feels, whether he ever admits it or not.
I will recommend this book to all the men in my church. You won’t be able to
put it down.”
— J. D. Greear, author of Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart:
How to Know for Sure You Are Saved and Gospel: Recovering
the Power That Made Christianity Revolutionary
“A wonderful and raw work that gets to the heart of all the areas in which men
have historically struggled. This book is immensely valuable, not because it
points men to success, but because it points men to Jesus and practically walks
through how to win by seeking Him in every area of life.”
— Nathan Lino, senior pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church
“I can’t speak highly enough about the way this book addresses manhood in
our culture. Biblically challenging and radically applicable, it honestly addresses
the deepest longings and fears a man faces.”
— Matt Chandler, author of The Explicit Gospel and Creature of the Word
“This is not your typical formula for a book on success and manhood. By humbly
and honestly walking through their failures, Matt Carter and Colt McCoy
teach the difficult truths we face as men and leaders. I have great hope that
through this book, more and more men will begin to see their struggles in marriage,
career, and family as a way to point them to the ultimate picture of success:
— Brad Lomenick, executive director and key visionary of Catalyst
“As a young man fresh out of college, I know I’m going to chase something
with the rest of my life. The Real Win helps me lock in on exactly what that
should be. This book identifies what’s truly satisfying, what’s worthy of being
chased. I’m in for the win.”
—Cory Cotton, cofounder of Dude Perfect and author of Go Big
“We live in a world full of scoreboards. Matt and Colt have experienced both
wins and losses, and I’ve seen them both want God more than all of it. They
are men who fight well, and they will lead you to fight well. This is worth
it. In The Real Win, Matt and Colt will move you from a life of striving to one
of fulfillment, living for the God who has already won the ultimate victory.”
—Jennie Allen, Bible teacher and author of Anything
Top customer reviews
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I was drawn in early by the open and compelling testimonies of both Colt and Matt. They were both very forthcoming with their own shortcomings and used their own personal experiences as a launching point into the book:
"For me, that proved easier said than done. I'd say, "Oh yeah, Matt, I know I need to trust in God." But then when something bad happened, I'd still get frustrated because God wasn't blessing me in the way I thought I needed to be blessed."
I found myself highlighting almost constantly. There were some very deep and thoughtful gems like this: "Sometimes trusting in God means you don't get to get off the cross."
I found practical advice that I can apply to my life starting today.
This book is recommended for anyone who is looking for encouragement as they seek to follow the Lord in difficult times. Because of the author, this book is especially appropriate for young men or college football fans.
*The verses in this book are presented in a couple different translations, but I would have preferred the KJV.*