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Willing but Weak: Fighting to put self-control at the heart of Christian discipleship

By Paul Williams
May 2021 | Review by Stuart Fisher
  • Publisher: 10 Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-91327-800-7
  • Pages: 112
  • Price: £4.99
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Book Review

I guess most of us, if we are really honest, would admit that we struggle with self-control. Here is a book that tackles the issue in a clear and forthright way.

It is a small volume, which might superficially suggest that it is not sufficient. Yet here is the practical wisdom of the author: if it were any bigger, few would have the self-control to knuckle down and read it!

This book is most readable, with short, punchy chapters and apt anecdotes. It gets straight to the point and is scattered with little gems.

After a brief introduction, Williams launches his work from the instructions to various groups in Titus 2. He quotes from Proverbs 25:28, ‘Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control’ (NIV). This becomes the guiding picture for the book: that self-control is a fortress that protects us from other evils.

The author then analyses the way in which we can get control in our lives, recognising that it is ultimately a spiritual matter. He discusses the role of the Holy Spirit and the need for motivation. Other supports include how we use our time, the use of practical wisdom, and reading good books. Several chapters are devoted to specific battle grounds of self-control such as the tongue, sex, anger, and money.

The concluding chapters consider what we do when the walls come tumbling down, and how to make a start, however small, in getting control in our lives. And it closes with a short chapter on the only one who had perfect self-control: Jesus.

Highly recommended, very accessible to all, and filling a gap in the market.

Stuart Fisher


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