• Kent Brandenburg

Act Like Men

At the end of his first epistle to the Corinthians, Paul writes in verses 13-14, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.” The words, “quit you like men,” in the King James Version, mean “act like men.” And then Paul commands, “Be strong.” On this Father’s Day, what does it mean to act like a man? It’s probably still an insult to say to any man, act like a man, because you are challenging his manhood. You are saying that he isn’t acting like a man. Of course, this all means that we know what it is to act like a man because there is a way to act like a man, which also means men might not act like men. For boys to grow up to be a man, they need men to show them how to act like a man. Paul is explaining what it means to act like a man, when he commands, “Be strong.” The understanding of the word “strong” is also “courageous.” So the verse is also addressing the meaning of acting like a man is to be courageous. Courage is the stock-in-trade of a man: courage in the face of danger, courage in the face of temptation, courage in the face of loss, courage in the face of suffering. “Be strong” in v. 13 is then balanced in v. 14 with “let all your things be done with charity,” which means to do all things in love. There’s nothing more manly than a man with consummate conviction, courage, and endurance, who is marked by love. That’s a man: not weak, not vacillating, not fearful; and loving.

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