1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Being a Man
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
Be watchful – we are to pay attention to our surroundings. We are the contexualition of the Gospel. We are to be aware of what is going on around us and by paying attention we are to know where we are and who we are in that context. And then in doing so – we are to stand firm in the faith. We are not to stand firm in the cultural context but to stand firm in the faith, which explains the cultural context – not the other way around. We get to inform the culture. Paul does this in the book of Acts at Areopagus – “I perceive you are very religious…” He was the contextualization of the Gospel for the culture at that moment. Penetrating the culture with the Gospel – this is at the heart of Paul’s admonition to act like men. Be strong. Don’t let the culture get to you – get to the culture. As God’s story intersects with your story let your story intersect with theirs. And the beauty of it all comes home in verse 14 – let all that you do be done in love. Toxic masculinity – patriarchal bullying – attaches itself to one part of those phrases, “act like men,” at the expense of all the rest. When I am watchful, standing firm, being strong, all for the purpose of loving well, that is when I am most manly as designed by God. The cultural (be watchful), the spiritual (standing firm), and the gendered (act like a man), all buttress the relational (love).