In common lingo, “man up” is used as a motivating expression. It means to meet responsibility head-on, to do the right thing no matter how hard. It demands strength of will, force of character, and the power of determined effort. Perhaps a more collective and Christian expression, however, would be “grace up.”
We all daily face a wide array of challenges and difficulties. Some are mundane, such as fixing a flat tire, doing laundry again or finishing a homework assignment. Some are personal, like fighting a cold, dealing with a bad mood or working through conflict in our families. Some are more obviously spiritual, such as struggling to understand a difficult passage, fighting a recurring temptation or battling daydreaming in prayer. Regardless of the struggle, a strictly worldly perspective of “man up” falls dismally short of biblical counsel.
Our greatest resource to overcome this week’s difficulties does not lie within. Our hope is not found in reaching deep inside, tapping into our inner strength, gritting our teeth and muscling through our hurdles. Our greatest hope this week comes from grace. Grace is God’s undeserved favor that gives us power to do what we cannot.
It is better to take refuge in Yahweh than to trust in man or princes (Ps. 118:8-9). The ones who wait on the Lord are the ones whose strength is renewed (Is. 40:31). God actively opposes those who arrogantly trust their own power, strength, wisdom or will, but gives abundant grace to the humble (James 4:6). Grace will teach us spiritual disciplines (Titus 2:11-12), liberate us from sin (Rom. 6:14), triumph over earthly wisdom (2 Cor. 1:12), make us completely sufficient to abound in good work in everything all the time (2 Cor. 9:8), sufficiently overcome our weakness so God’s power is displayed (2 Cor. 12:9), strengthen us (2 Tim. 4:22) and help us in our times of need (Heb. 4:16). This week, let’s not depend on ourselves and our own strength. Let’s fall on grace. Instead of “manning up” to meet this week’s hardships, “grace up.”