What Great Men Do That Others Do Not

Arena Men,

It’s been over a week and my shoulders are still sore. I hope I’m not injured, but it was worth it. It was worth the two hours, and dozens of times, I threw my friends’ 6 and 8 year-old children in the pool, naming each glorious effort—the Helicopter, Bazooka, Corkscrew, Superman, and Ballerina, to name a few. I hope it was a day they will never forget. I know my shoulders won’t! 

A Gentle Giant Among Men

I blame my sore shoulders on Wess Stafford’s inspiring book, Just a Minute. It was an honor to have Wess on the Men in the Arena Podcast to hear his heart for children. I’ve interviewed hundreds of great men. Men who have founded denominations, built global ministries, and sold millions of books, but Wess stands above them all. As the president of Compassion International, Wess grew to the organization to a 500-million-dollar annual budget, 84% going directly to children, with over 2 million sponsored children globally.

He has been awarded five honorary doctorates and has dined with presidents of countries but would trade it all to give a hug to a child. His passion for children originates from his missionary days in Africa when he witnessed many of his childhood friends die of easily treatable diseases.  When asked about his passion, I heard Wess instantly respond, “I’m always ten seconds away from crying over children. I was created for this.”

Today, I act differently around children because of a statement in Just a Minute: “I have become convinced that if God stands a child before you, for even just a minute, it is a divine appointment.” 

Just a Minute

For several years I’ve considered any time I’m in the presence of a child as holy ground because of Wess’ statement, “If a child is around, we should be in high alert. We never know when we will make a lifelong memory for someone.” I give my friends’ children attention first. I stop to say hello to a child. I hug Dale’s son Noah when I see him. I buy candy for any child of a friend I see with them in the store.  You never know when what you say or do will be branded in the heart of a child. 

Think about what someone said to you that changed your life in Just a Minute. I think of my Middle School teacher, Dick Beiden, who told me to never be a “Typical Morro Bay Athlete.” I called him recently to tell him how much that statement meant to me. He was 82 at the time and said, “You just made my life.” He died a few months later. 

I think of how my AP English teacher inspired me when, in front of the entire class, he told me that I, “Don’t even belong here.” I wonder how many of his students have written nearly a dozen books and are bestselling authors?  

For the Full Capacity Man

My newest book, Full Capacity Man, will be released in June 2022. One of its twenty chapters is titled, “The Gentle Man.” In it, I write: 

Gentle. Meek. Mild. Humble. These the words often interchanged in Scripture to describe gentle. Sadly, they are often interpreted as weak, soft, and cowardly. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the Practice of Godliness Jerry Bridges writes, “Both gentleness and meekness are born out of power, not weakness.”
          The fact is the act of gentleness can only be done from a position of strength. It is when a full capacity man humbles himself, makes himself strategically smaller, to express gentleness. This can be figuratively humbling yourself and is what Jesus did for us in coming to earth in the form of a man (Philippians 2:3-10) or Jesus scolding those who prohibited the little children from coming to him (Mark 10:13-16). 

I love what author Gary Thomas wrote about the gentle man: “It’s the strong hand, not the weak one, that must learn to be gentle.” It takes great strength to acknowledge a child and greater weakness to ignore one. Gentleness is the fruit of strength and only the strong possess it.

Stoop Down to Stand Tall

You will not want to miss our interview with Wess Stafford, the greatest man I’ve ever met. What will you do with this new knowledge and inspiration you find from our episode? Start leaving a legacy today.

Start with your own children by downloading the new—free—release of my book, Tell Them: What Great Fathers Tell Their Sons and Daughters including 200 statements, Bible verses, and conversation prompts to help you become your best version of a father. You will be amazed at the high quality and effort that went into this resource. It will be a cherished weapon in your fathering arsenal. Get it now before we change our mind!

 

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Stooping Low to Stand Tall,

  

Jim Ramos

Men in the Arena,

Founder and President

 

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