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

The challenge for all men is to grow up. It is no different in the spiritual world. When one trusts Christ he is born again, a new creation, a babe in Christ. God then begins the seasoning and maturing work of sanctification designed to form the image of His dear Son in His child. The boy becomes the man.

What parallel lessons of maturity are observable between physical coming of age and the spiritual declaration of manhood? What are the defining behaviors? What are characteristic signs of maturity? Here are a thought-deserving few.

  • Men have clearly defined values that are non-negotiable.
  • Men take responsibility without being asked to do so.
  • Men have a conscious recognition of their own strength and employ self-control to avoid mindlessly hurting someone else.
  • Men display a willingness to teach.
  • Men come to the aid of those unable to help themselves.
  • Men take the place of leadership to meet a need, they are leaders in love.
  • Men develop the ability to recognize the right and to defend it regardless of the cost.
  • Men preserve good and work to defeat evil.
  • Men keep a cool head of thoughtful perception.
  • Men cultivate a thirst to learn.
  • Men know and are known by God.
  • Men know when to play and when to be serious; they develop the wisdom of balance.
  • Men are not hamstrung by spiritual baggage.
  • Men are big enough to admit when they are wrong.
  • Men recognize there are things bigger than themselves.

Paul’s sentiments in this verse could be translated, “play the man” or “show yourselves men.” We are called to be men like our forefathers. Like Paul, like David, and most certainly, like our Lord Jesus Christ. Cultivate spiritual maturity and learn the precept “That thou mayest fear the glorious and fearful name, THE LORD, THY GOD.” (Deuteronomy 28:58)