I CORINTHIANS 16:13-14: “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: What does it mean to be a “man”? When I grew up as a young boy this questions conjured up memories of a strong cowboy or a soldier like G.I. Joe. I can remember spending countless hours playing in these roles with my friends. A man was strong, courageous, and forceful. A man took prisoners and asked questions later. This was my concept of a man.
Today, our culture is trying to convince us that a man is something quite different. A man does not have a unique role apart from a women. Men and women are equal, and this equality is not just in worth, it is in function. In essence there is no difference between the sexes. This is the concept of a man that young boys are growing up with today.
Both of these concepts are entirely wrong and are not based on the Bible. The Bible teaches us that there is equal worth – but different roles and functions for both men and women. It does not try to combine men and women into a “unisex”. It also does not promote a male dominated and chauvinistic world. It calls men to a much higher calling. It calls men to love!
John 15:13 says – “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (ESV) Love is not identified by the willingness to lead or dominate, love is defined by one’s willingness to die for those he loves. Paul goes on to build on this calling for men in Ephesians 5 where we read – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” (Ephesians 5:25 ESV)
In Paul’s closing remarks to the Corinthians he calls the leaders of this church to be watchful, to stand firm in the faith, to act like men. If he would have stopped there one might think he was calling them to a worldly model of what it means to be a man. However, Paul continues – “Let all that you do be done in love.” It all comes back to love! The call to love in a sacrificial and unselfish way is the true definition of what it means to be a man. It has nothing to do with my strength. It has everything to do with my heart!
Lord, help me to be the man that You are calling me to be. Let everything I do be defined by Your love. Transform my heart by Your love. Forgive me for my selfishness. Grant me the Grace to surrender my life to You and give my life to others in true sacrificial love. Help me to act like a man. In Jesus Name!