13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
14 Let all that you do be done in love.
"Act like men; Let all that you do be done in love."
Here are the two sides of Christian character--strength ("act like men") and love. These must always be held in balance. Of course, most of us are better at one than the other. Some of us have no problem with strength. We can be tough, brave, stern, unyielding. But that person's problem is with love. He has a hard time being merciful, kind, full of grace and goodness to others.He judges others' weakness because he is strong. Others can't show strength, because they think it eliminates love, kindness, mercy, and so their love comes off as missing something vital. God always commands that we do BOTH. He will not let us get away with half-measures, and our personas, to be completely Christian, must always hold these two things in balance. Bravery is good, but unless it occurs with love, it is incomplete, and marred. It's only part of what God calls us to do. Love is wonderful, but unless it comes alongside of strength, it is also incomplete, and loses much of its value.
An interesting side note about the call to "act like men" (what about the women and girls amongst us? they're included, of course): The Greek word carries the idea of "man up!" The idea is that of the strong warrior ready for whatever comes. And alongside of that, "Let all of our things be done in love..." Which means that even when we are at our "warriormost," our hearts must still be tender toward the needs and sufferings of the people around us--and we must not let our "warrior side" compel us to be hard on others.
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