August 12, 2011

In one of the local exercise gyms, a former professional boxer, now in his 70s, was pounding the bag. A middle-aged businessman, a wannabe jock, was doing sit-ups. After a while the businessman stood up and bragged to the boxer that he had just done 500 sit-ups.

Without breaking the rhythm of his punches, the former boxer replied, “That’s all right. Don’t get discouraged. Keep trying and you’ll get better.”

Some people brag and it’s never nice to have them around.

Let me tell you another story.

A HUNGRY mountain lion came out of the hills, attacked a bull and killed it. As it feasted on its kill, the lion paused from time to time to roar in triumph. A hunter in the area heard the commotion, found the lion and shot him dead.

The moral of the story is: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.


A few years ago, I was given the privilege to do the introduction to an overflow crowd gathered to listen to the internationally famous Christian philosopher and evangelist Dr. Ravi Zacharias. Ravi has been featured as the main speaker for the National Prayer Breakfast held at the White House under the sponsorship of US President George W. Bush. To say that his credentials are impressive is a grave understatement. He has spoken to the Lenin Military Academy and has written a number of books as well.

Dr. Ravi gave a brilliant presentation that left the audience captivated and up until now I still meet people who would tell me they were so inspired by the 55 minute talk he presented. They wanted more of him.

And then one month later I had the opportunity not only to introduce but to share the same speaker’s platform and speak with the world famous motivational speaker Dr. Denis Waitley.

Dr. Denis Waitley was featured as the main speaker in a seminar in our country a few years ago and after listening to him intently in both of his sessions, I learned so much in so short a time and sharing the same sentiments with all the 265 people inside the hotel ballroom…I couldn’t have enough of him.

Ravi Zacharias and Dr. Denis Waitley. Two distinguished speakers of international acclaim gracing our country and sharing with us their life’s winning principles is a treat I will always remember.

But allow me to let you in on a little secret. Let me bring you backstage and tell you what kind of people they really are when the lights are off and the microphones are no longer around. What are these two people really like?

I had lunch with Dr. Ravi. His credentials are so impressive and his thoughts, writings and lectures have influenced me a great deal as far as my spiritual walk and growth is concerned. Guess what I found out? Dr. Ravi is one of the humblest people I have ever met. Not even an ounce of ego. He speaks with a very soft voice and goes out of his way to encourage people. Confident but not cocky. Encouraging but not condescending. Inspiring and never for a moment pretentious. I’ve met people who play acts on being spiritual. Not Dr. Ravi.

Dr. Denis Waitley and I together with a panel of teachers/ professors honorees were interviewed in a press conference. After that Denis and I had time to share experiences – one-on-one. Guess what I discovered. This internationally known speaker is so gentle and tender. Once again not an ounce of ego in him. He never for a moment tried to impress me with what he knows and he got my interest in him by being interested in me.

2 great personalities of international fame and stature yet exhibiting humility and gentleness of spirit. And the best thing about these two? Both of them…as with almost every good speaker I know have a fantastic sense of humor.


I’ve met people of infinitely lesser stature and accomplishment yet exhibiting unbelievable pride and arrogance as they prance and strut around like over decorated peacocks trying to impress everyone they meet with how much they know and it reveals their shallowness of character.

I’ve met people who are revered and respected as leaders either in the business world or in the religious community yet when you get to know them up close and personal…they are in reality egoistical and insecure.

Ravi Zacharias and Dr. Denis Waitley. Two people who have inspired me in my life through their books, talks, tapes and films would now inspire me more through their conduct, character and demeanor. Guess what the two of them have in common, they both acknowledge the fact that it has been God’s Grace in their lives that have made them accomplish so much in their life time.

Real people of greatness are humble people because they do not have to prove anything. The arrogant are not so, they are insecure. They have to assure others and  themselves that they are worthy of admiration. But people see through them over time. And they lose respect.

Through these  two men I have learned to check my ego by the door and to live my life reminding myself that without God, I can do nothing. And that I have to consider others better than myself. This is the foundation for humility.

I like what popular newspaper columnist of all Ann Landers have to say: “Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” And never forget, if you are all wrapped up in your self, you make a small package and you are extremely…..overdressed.


This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Joey Baylosis

    thanks a lot sir francis for reminding us to check our ego and to be humble always. this article reminds me of the song “Tuldok” by Asin way back in 70s. i hope our leaders especially our politicians will read this one and heed your advice. thanks again and God bless.

    1. Francis Kong

      Leadership is service and yes I agree, I hope our local officials understand this.

  2. karen

    I have heard of Ravi Zachariah hes truly a great person. Hes consider to be the best Christian Apologist of his Time. He conducts seminar in Princeton University and many more….
    Its exciting to know that he went here in Philippines.
    God Bless you Mr. Francis Kong…
    Your article says a lot not just in theory but deep on personal and life application

    1. Francis Kong

      Thank you Karen Ravi teaches Apologetics at Oxford University and I attended his summer course there two years ago. Wonderful man and godly at that. God bless you.

  3. amber

    Sir Francis, if we know people who falls under the category of arrogant or insecure. How can we help them? You are right that having them around is not so nice, but there are times that it is so hard to avoid them and it does affect us negatively. Thank you.

    1. Francis Kong

      Looks like we can’t change them but we can carefully respond to them and make sure we do not become like them. thanks for asking.

  4. Red Denal

    Thank you Sir Francis for this another source on motivation. I also like Dr. Denis Waitley, I have his book “POW” Btw, Thank you also for sharing us an inspiring talk yesterday at the Whiteboard’s event -“Steps to Financial Peace”.

    God bless you and your family.

    1. Francis Kong

      They are both great people. Thanks for attending the event. I support Randell fully. God bless you.

  5. Fransel Isaguirre

    Thank you.

  6. Jomuel

    Thank you very much Francis Kong for the very great read 🙂 God is really our source of everything 🙂

Leave a Reply