Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13). The whole phrase “act like men” comes from one Greek word, basically taking the noun for “men” and turning it into a verb, i.e. “Be men,” or “Man up!” It is a peppy, catchy phrase, but what does it mean? What is Paul specifically wanting us to do, as a result of this command? What does it mean in biblical terms, to “man up”?
The body does not consist of one member but of many (1 Corinthians 12:14). As Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, it seems that some of their members, far from consciously affirming the diversity in their midst, were working against it. One group in the church was suggesting everyone should be just like them—have the same ministry, the same social status, the same convictions about idol-food, the same favorite preacher. Others, who felt inferior, were allowing themselves to drift into inactivity by embracing the lie that they were not useful to the church. Into this unhealthy atmosphere, Paul speaks,