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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Men Need Men Who Tell Them the Truth

Will Hunting had a friend who told him the truth

Last week, I wrote a post about looking a man in the eye and telling him the truth.  In our world of relativism, many of us guys (including myself) can shy away from expressing what we believe because we have saturated our opinions to, “Well, what may be true for me may not be true for them, and vice versa.”  That is what relativism is and it’s crap.  Now I'm not talking about subjective truth like how I think my Carolina Panthers is better than your NFL team (which is actually true), but I'm talking about objective truth that leads to virtue and bettering one's life.  If our fellow brother is drunk and wants to drive, we don't let him even though he says he's "Ok", right?  The same goes if he's not drunk but driving with flat tires.  Do we say, "Oh, well flat tires works for him, that's not my business"  No!   If we care about someone and we love someone, we tell him, “Hey, I don't think that's a good idea.  You think maybe you would want to do something about that?” 

    I just finished reading Chapter 8 from the book Be a Man by Fr. Larry Richards and his words relay what I’m trying to get out:
We need to speak the truth in love.  Do you love people enough to tell them the truth, even if it is not popular?  Challenge the ones you love…Jesus sent the disciples out two by two on purpose.  Men need men to challenge them to be the best they can be.” 
Men by nature are very competitive.  So when one man can challenges his brother in love to be the man God wants him to be, then he can grow.  St. Paul was that type of mentor to young Timothy and Titus.  Jesus had His disciples around Him.  When he suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane He needed His friends to support Him and be with Him!  If Jesus, Who is God, needs men around Him, then who are you to think that you do not?  As I said in chapter 5, you need at least one man whom you can talk to, and look straight in the eye and be honest with.  You need a friend who will love you as you are, but love you so much that he will never leave you there.

    What gets lost is perhaps the loving, tactful way to go about telling the truth.  If we care about our brothers, we first must pray for them and ask God how to best approach them.  And then when we challenge our brothers, first and foremost it must come from a place of humility and an authentic “I want the best for you” mentality.     

But what does this look like?  I finally got around to watching Good Will Hunting (only 16 years late, Matt) and I had a few thoughts.  There are a lot of great brotherhood moments, including the 21-year-old birthday gift of a car that Will Hunting gets from his friends.  This one though, takes the cake.  Ben Affleck’s character, Chuckie, challenges Matt Damon’s Will Hunting to consider that he, Will, has an opportunity many do not have.  And by taking the opportunity, Will would be doing it not only for him, but for the people who surround him, too.  Chuckie was a friend that loved Will as was, but loved him so much that he wouldn’t let him stay stagnant.  The following is a video of this clip.  [Disclaimer: Mind that a lot of F-bombs do get dropped.]

 Richards finishes the chapter with this:

Do you have a friend like this?  If not, then ask God for a friend who is a true man of God who will walk with you on your journey to be a man.  Find a group of men that you can share with and pray with and will be with you through the tough times.  Jesus, in His humanity, needed men in His life, and so do you.  It is with them that God will form you and challenge you and love you.  So, take courage and be the man that God created you to be!”

    Men, we were not meant to journey solo.  We were sent two by two.  Be that man for another and another will be that man for you.


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