1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Watch you, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.…

Manliness is not popularly associated with Christianity, and it is not difficult to see how this mistake has arisen. First of all, it has arisen because of the very prominence that is given in the New Testament to what it calls the virtues of meekness and forgiveness. Again, another cause for this popular misunderstanding arises from the mannerism of religious people. They get into a weak, maudlin condition, and adopt a voice and manner that repels any person who has got a spark of manliness in him, and thus there comes a certain smallness of mind, and a morose stupidity, that does much to strengthen the idea that to be a Christian is either to be a fanatic or an effeminate person. Another cause is distinctly attributable to the characters so often drawn by novelists of what a religious person is. They represent a man as a brave, generous, fine fellow, who was no religion at all. Furthermore, people have become accustomed to think of religion as something connected with deathbed scenes, with sickness, or as bearing an aspect of grim severity, and not at all enticing to any one who likes the free breezes blowing across the sea and across the moors, who likes a manly life, and wishes to take a manly part in it. What is Christian manliness? I answer that Christian muddiness is the courage of duty, according to the Christian ideal. Now let us try to understand this. Manliness is the courage of duty, because duty is the essence of all manliness. Courage separated from duty ceases to be manliness. There is a great deal of courage even in the criminal. That is the courage of the madman or of the devil. So mere physical courage may not be the courage of manliness in its best sense. The ferocity which makes the pugilist or the prize-fighter refuse to give in, that is not a bit more wonderful than what you find in brutes. The bulldog will do the same thing, so will the wild-cat, so will the ferret. That species of courage is not necessarily a high standard of courage. There is a certain spirit of self-assertion which is sometimes mistaken for manliness. The rough, impudent, "I am as good as you," is no indication of the possession of a manly spirit. There is a spirit of arrogance which has nothing to do with manly independence. It is little more than rude incivility, arising from want of consideration from others. Manliness, as the courage of duty, must forbid such things as degrade a man. Look at Christ, the ideal man! There was a life of courage under duty to God and to others, with no thought of self. Christ's life was one continual self-sacrifice. Duty to God and man is the climax of manliness. The great test of character is to be found in the manner in which the common details of life are met. It is far easier for the soldier in the rush of battle to do noble deeds than to live a faithful life in the barrack-yard, or in attending to dally drill.

(D. Macleod, D.D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

WEB: Watch! Stand firm in the faith! Be courageous! Be strong!

Four Points in the Christian Life
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