Recently, my wife and I stood in the driveway while our grandson spent ten minutes running up and down the sidewalk and into the yard. When he rounded the corner, he stumbled and fell with both hands, sliding on the concrete. He moaned as we picked him up. We asked, “Are you okay buddy? Do you need to put ice on your hands, or are you going to be just fine?” He reluctantly said he was okay, so I praised him for being a tough big boy.
As the Apostle Paul closed his letter to the believers at Corinth, he instructed them, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (I Corinthians 16:13). When Paul told them to “watch,” he meant to be awake and vigilant. Like a sentinel entrusted to watch for enemy movement and alert the camp, these believers needed to watch for Satan’s attack in doctrine and enticement into sin. Therefore, they were to “stand fast in the faith,” like a pylon holding up a bridge. Even when the high waters of trials raged about them, they needed to remain unmovable in the sound doctrines they had learned at Paul’s feet. They could, if they were moored deeply in God’s Word. Telling them to “quit you like men” means to demonstrate manliness, to be bold, or brave. It’s very much like us saying, “Be a big boy,” or “Act like a man.” Spiritual immaturity abounded at Corinth in many ways: divisions in loyalty to men (I Corinthians 1:12), carnality, envy, and strife (3:1-3), and foolishly accepting false teachers (II Corinthians 11:13). Paul feared they might be swept up into these factions, or grow so discouraged, that they might simply walk away from this local church. Instead, they must not faint. They needed to “quit you like men,” or “man up,” with strength and leadership. When Carl Sandburg addressed the United States Congress, he “…said that Abraham Lincoln was a man of ‘velvet steel.’ ”1 Likewise, believers need to exhibit a combination of strength and tenderness. Paul concluded by saying, “Be strong,” which simply meant to demonstrate strength when it was needed.
Men, your family and your church need you to lead with “velvet steel.” Be an example of strength, spiritual maturity, godliness, and tenderness. “Quit you like men.”
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