By Ramon Leano
I used to think I was the toughest guy alive. I wasn’t scared of anything. Drinking with my friends, finding trouble, and getting chased by the police was my hobby. I always chose my friends over my family. If I didn’t go home at night, my wife would go looking for me at the police station.
Everything changed when I met God the Father. Like in the story of the prodigal son, God opened his arms to embrace me and welcome me back. That’s when I realized that I wasn’t tough at all. I was weak. Everything I thought about being tough or being a man was wrong. It was all a lie or a fraud of what real strength is all about.
It takes a true tough guy to admit when he is wrong. It takes a true tough guy to admit his sins and reconcile with the Lord. It takes a true tough guy to trust in God and not in himself. A true tough guy is never ashamed to proclaim to the world that Jesus Christ is his best friend and Savior. He is not afraid to read the Bible every day and learn to be more like Jesus. He is gentle, kind, joyful, loving, patient, generous, faithful, and humble. All these are the characteristics of a real tough guy.
Now I live to praise and serve God and I trust in the Lord. My faith in Him is much greater and stronger than the bad things I’ve done in my past. Now He is giving me the strength to serve Him as a missionary in my country, the Philippines, and I am very happy in the new life God has called me to. As a missionary and as a man, I have learned the truth of the Scriptures, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) and “Apart from Me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
The world needs more true tough guys. I challenge all men to examine yourselves and see if you’re one of them. If you’re not, then it’s not too late for you, like it wasn’t too late for me. At this moment you could be at the beginning of a fruitful life with the Lord.