Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 9, 2000

Harold Keller / L’Observateur / September 9, 2000

Warning to all men! This article may be detrimental to your self-image.

Thursday morning, at our regular weekly men’s meeting at Quality MachineManufacturing in Paulina, the subject was, “What is a Real Man?” It was5:30 in the morning, 18 men in attendance, and I was feeling pretty goodabout myself. That is, until Danny Louque, the moderator, read from hisBible about what a real man is.

“Society’s definition of a real man is erroneous. Its requirements of himare so burdensome that it’s hard for him to live up to society’sexpectations. So the question remains. What is a real man?”Danny read on and the answer from Jesus was loud and clear! “If you wantto see a real man, take a look at John the Baptist” (see Luke 7:28). Johnhad six characteristics that qualified him as a real man: simplicity,conviction, courage, vision and vulnerability.””The modern ‘macho’ man in American society is not supposed to bevulnerable. According to research, the five most difficult statements forthe modern man to make are (1) I don’t know; (2) I was wrong; (3) I needhelp; (4) I’m afraid; and (5) I’m sorry.””In other words, according to the world, real men do not admit anyvulnerability. If they do, their masculinity is questioned.”John was not afraid to admit his vulnerability, which is shown in twoways – his honesty and his humility. One of his best-known statementswas in reference to Jesus: “He must be greater; I must become less.” (John3:30)John knew the answer to becoming a real man. Jesus had to increase in hislife and he had to realized that, without Jesus, he was nothing. Thehardest thing for anyone to admit is that he is nothing without Christ.

At the weekly meetings, we all get a chance to share our thoughts. When itwas my time to share, I looked around the room and said, “This should be ashort meeting because I don’t see many real men here, including myself.”When Coach Mickey Roussel spoke, he said that he didn’t agree with mebecause he thought there were plenty of real men at the meeting. Mickey ismy friend but evidently, he has a problem with discernment. (Just joking.)Was Coach Mickey right? It really doesn’t matter. But this one thing Iknow. Each man there had a desire to be a real man with all thecharacteristics of John: sincerity, conviction, courage, vision andvulnerability.

HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the GetHigh on Life religious motivational group.

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