‘Act Like Men – Be Courageous’

The middle imperative of the five in I Cor 16:13-14 is “act like men’. 

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”

The ESV and the NASB translations state this as ‘act like men’. 

The NIV and NRSV translate it ‘be courageous’. 

The NKJV and GNT translate it as ‘be brave’. 

It is clear that this letter to the Church at Corinth was written to both men and women, so this command is not to be masculine as much as it is to execute what most would see as a masculine trait. That trait is courage. Men and women can each be courageous, but Paul sees it as a masculine trait. 

Courage is defined as – the mental and moral strength to venture, to persevere and to withstand danger, fear and difficulty. 

Though courage is not specific to men, the clear expectation here is that every man would have courage. It is expected that every man would act on that courage and put the interests of women and children ahead of himself. It is expected that women and children can look to men, especially husbands and fathers, to be courageous in times of trouble. 

Paul simply exhorts the people of Corinth to display and act on this masculine trait of courage.


Dear God, make me a courageous man who overcomes fear and doubt and who steps out in faith. In Jesus Name, Amen

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