Act Like Men!

My favorite commercial is a Geico ad where a patient on a couch says to a former drill sergeant therapist, ?And that?s why yellow makes me sad, I think.? ?The ex-drill sergeant replies, ?That?s interesting, you know what makes me sad? ?You do! ?Maybe we should chug on over to mambi-pambi land where maybe we can find some self-confidence for you, you jack wagon!?

Sometimes we don?t need sympathy. ?Sometimes we need someone to say to us, ?Hey! ?Stand up! ?Be strong! ?Trust the Lord!? Like when Paul said to the Corinthians:

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)

When Christians go through tough times, we should weep with those who weep and show sympathy to those who suffer, even as our Great High Priest sympathizes with us in our weakness.

Yet there are times we should exhort our embattled brothers and sisters to get up and keep fighting the good fight. When Israel was poised to enter the promised land Moses charged them:

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.?? Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, ?Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it.? It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.? (Deuteronomy 31:6-8)

Moses was talking to a ragtag, insignificant people about to go up against nations far more powerful than they were.? Yet he tells them not to be afraid of these mighty foes, not because they were strong, but because their God was strong. ?They were to be courageous because the Lord promised to go with them and never forsake them.

Moses says the same thing to inexperienced Joshua, about to assume the leadership of Israel. ?He says, ?Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed.? ?Why? ?Because the Lord ?goes before you? and ?will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.?

So we too should encourage one another to ?act like men,? because our mighty God is with us and will never let us down.

So be confident in the Lord and in his mighty power! ?No matter what you face, don?t be dismayed. ?Don?t give up. ?Don?t give in to discouragement and unbelief. ?Get up! ?Stand firm! ?Act like men!

photo by Jeff Kubina

Comments

  1. Bob says

    Hey Mark, I like this. In battling sin, this kind of straighforward talk is always so much more helpful and faith building for me than when Christians try to console me with talk about how defeated and sinful we all are. I mean, yeah, apart from Christ, we're weaklings like the patient on the couch, but c'mon, in Christ, we "are a new creation" and "the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds".

    • MarkAltrogge says

      Thanks Bob,

      Right – the doctrine of sin is extremely helpful so we can know where the battle is, what our enemy is, how temptation works, etc. but should not leave us feeling defeated or hopeless. And we truly do have no strength in ourselves, but we should take courage for the reasons you mentioned – and we have the Lord of hosts on our side to fight for us.

    • MarkAltrogge says

      Hey Bernadette,

      Thanks for your comments! I also would apply this to women, even tho Paul said act like men – because he meant essentially – "stand strong, persevere," and we do this as you said, by exercising a steadfast trust in the Lord.

  2. lisa says

    Mark, please see Stephen's fairly recent post about helping people going through depression. AAAAUUUGGGGHHHH!!! What's a girl to think??? Don't BE makin' me choose between pastors now.

    Seriously, it's hard to know when to just "weep with those who weep" and when to courageously call someone higher, even while having compassion toward him. Could you guys teach us the difference? Like maybe with a chart or something? Two columns, one with the heading "I'm so sorry you're hurting" and one with "Cowboy up, Christian!" and then all the different possible scenarios sorted into the appropriate columns?

    OR I could just ask you to pray that God will give me compassion, wisdom, and discernment….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>