July 19, 2016
READ: 2 Corinthians 6:3-13
You must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart (1 Peter 1:22).
Sarcasm can cause us to laugh. But it can also become a shield. Why open ourselves to rejection when we can make sure that no one ever knows the real us? Ironically, such insincerity actually leaves us more vulnerable.
Some historians believe that the term sincerity comes from the Latin compound, sine—which means “without”, and cera—which means “wax”. In the ancient world, wax was often used to conceal cracks in pottery and buildings. For example, a poor family that couldn’t afford a perfectly smooth stone to seal their loved one’s grave would fill in the gaps with wax. While this looked fine at first, the wax would melt in the summer sun, providing an opening for creatures to enter and do what creatures do. Wealthy families who could buy the best told their craftsman to chisel a door sincerely, or without wax.
Sincerity seems to be essential for the safety of friendship. Only sincere people can have genuine friends. No one opens their heart to someone they can’t trust, but everyone wants to hang around people who are trustworthy. Paul told the Corinthians to open their hearts to him because he had opened his first. “We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you. There is no lack of love on our part” (2 Corinthians 6:11-12).
Has sarcasm cost you friends? Do you need the “love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience and genuine faith”? (1 Timothy 1:5). Let the light of God’s Word reveal the ‘wax’ in your life (Psalm 119:105). Then replace it with the solid substance of sincerity. Real friendship requires that we be real with others. And the Holy Spirit provides what we need to show them “sincere love” (2 Corinthians 6:6).
365-day plan: John 6:41-71
Read 1 Thessalonians 2:1-13 to learn how sincerity supplies the foundation for friendship.
Do your words provide a safe environment for others? What can you do to earn their trust?