No one likes to be manipulated. An individual may express an outward message that is incongruent with an inner motive. Once I placed a large order of cassettes for a music project I was working on. The sales person assured me of the solid reputation of this “Christian” company. He did not tell me the company was deeply in debt and about to declare bankruptcy. His motive might have been to help the company pull in more business. Because he withheld information, I made a purchase decision which resulted in losing my money and not receiving the products I’d paid for.
How do I know if a person is sincere? Often, I don’t know. Perhaps this is why it is wise for me to first engage in personal introspection.
Am I honest? Do I have a hidden agenda I don’t want others to know about? Once certain of my own honesty I may ask the question, “is the person I’m interacting with a person of integrity so far as I can tell?” Acts 24:16—“I always do my best to have a clear conscience toward God and men.”
Am I faithful? Have I established consistency in my character and conduct? If I am undependable and untrustworthy it is questionable as to whether or not I should judge someone else as insincere! Psalm 18:25—“With the faithful You prove Yourself faithful; with the blameless manYou prove Yourself blameless.”
Am I genuine in my intentions and actions? Would others see in me hypocrisy or pretense? It’s easy to assess a person as insincere because of poor workmanship when in reality training or counseling might be needed. I may falsely sense a person is insincere because his approach differs from mine. Style, personality, socioeconomic status, and cultural mannerisms do not define sincerity. Before accusing someone else of being insincere, make the effort to see through her lens. John 1:47—“Then Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said about him, “Here is a true Israelite; no deceit is in him.”
At the end of a letter comes a word of deep meaning—it says, “you can count on me.”
2 Corinthians 1:12-- For this is our confidence: The testimony of our conscience is that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, with God-given sincerity and purity, not by fleshly wisdom but by God’s grace.
Sincerity means that the appearance and the reality are exactly the same.—Oswald Chambers in Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite.—Charles Spurgeon
Sincerity is moral truth.—George H. Lewes
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)