Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sincerity

"Love must be sincere." Romans 12:9

Sincerity in a person has always meant the world to me. I treasure and appreciate someone who is sincere. Sincerity is an intrinsic genuineness and honesty that can be sensed, felt and tasted. You just know when someone is sincere in their love, encouragement, and even in a loving reproof.

Sincerity is defined as: genuineness; honesty; the quality of being open and truthful; freedom from deceit, hypocrisy, or duplicity.

Sincerity is a character trait I value because it springs from realness, from purity, transparency and truthfulness.

"Slaves, obey our masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is one you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord." Colossi ans 3:22

"With sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord" has been my e-mail "signature" for quite some time now. It speaks of the genuine intent of my heart toward the Lord. Some moments when I am wandering in the flesh, my sincerity and reverence are traded in temporarily for cheaper, ugly and unsatisfying fleshly substitutes. He always gently brings me back to Him, and the sincerity and reverence of my heart are polished up and beautifully restored. I always want my heart to be humbly postured in sincerity and reverence for Him.

When I have time to squeak in some leisurely reading (i.e. school car line, waiting rooms, etc.), I've been slowly going through a good book by Lisa Whittle titled "Behind Those Eyes -- What Really Goes On Inside The Souls of Women". I was waiting in doctors' offices yesterday and had the opportunity to read through a few more chapters. Here are excerpts I loved:

We can't always wear our hearts on our sleeves, and it's not always appropriate to share our personal struggles in public situations [or on blogs -- my addition], but it is also refreshing to hear from a sincere person who desires to be real.

But we still pretend. It's just less complicated, really. Impersonating a superspiritual person fluent in Christianese stops the intimacy of a face-to face conversation with someone. But it can prevent other things, too. It can stifle tears that need to flow, hands that need to be raised, prayers that need to be prayed, and decisions that need to be made. We trade reputation for repentance, and it costs us a lot. It costs us an intimacy that is sweet, both with our heavenly Father and our earthly family of God. It is a hard habit to break and can be a humbling experience.

Fortunately for all of us, spiritual perfection is not a requirement to faith in Jesus Christ. Were it so, I would have long ago been disqualified.

Though we seek it, our lack of spiritual perfection may be the best thing in the world for us since it reminds us that we are absolutely nothing without Christ.

God's original plan was not for us to prove to Him that we love Him by performing to the best of our spiritual abilities. Rather, He is seeking today what He has always been interested in getting from us: a relationship with Him that is pure of heart and motive, the only goal in mind being to honor Him by doing His Will.

Sincerity...refreshing realness...don't trade repentance for reputation...a relationship with Him that is pure of heart and motive...honor Him by doing His will.

Whoo-eee! I was blessed reading this. It refreshed my heart and confirmed to me how precious and valuable genuineness and sincerity are. Love must be sincere.

"...the bread of sincerity and truth." 1 Corinthians 5:8

6 comments:

Lysa TerKeurst said...

Oh sweet sister...

Good morning and sweet blessings to you! Guess what showed up on my doorstep recently???

Chips! From one of my favorite sisters ever! And guess who's timing was perfect once again.

Hubs out of town...
kiddos need lunch stuff...
you know the story.

So, thank you from the bottom of my chip lovin' heart!

And thank you for this beautiful post you wrote today. I still need to read this book. As soon as I finish writing mine, I aim to pick it up.

Oh and one more thank you... thanks for your comment this morning on my blog. Your tenderness touched my heart.

Love you sweet friend!

Chatty Kelly said...

Thank YOU for you sincere blog today. Enjoying you!

Jill said...

Sharon,

That was beautiful! Being blessed by meeting you I know the sincerity of heart you truly share with grace. It is a blessing and truly refreshing to be around!

I too think way too much is shared on blogs and pray that God speaks to their hearts about privacy.

You are so thoughtful and I for one appreciate that more than words can say!

Praying your knee is feeling better :-)

Hugs and His love!
Jill

Joyful said...

Sharon, this is just beautiful. Just yesterday a friend and I were discussing this very thing - sincerity. I'm going to have to direct her over here to read this.

I have just ordered Lisa's book and now you have increased my desire for it even more. It sounds wonderful. This quote has really spoken to my heart, "...we still pretend. It's just less complicated, really. Impersonating a superspiritual person fluent in Christianese stops the intimacy of a face-to face conversation with someone. But it can prevent other things, too. It can stifle tears that need to flow, hands that need to be raised, prayers that need to be prayed, and decisions that need to be made. We trade reputation for repentance, and it costs us a lot. It costs us an intimacy that is sweet, both with our heavenly Father and our earthly family of God. It is a hard habit to break and can be a humbling experience."

Sincerity is a gift when discovered and shared. Thanks for this post.

Sincerely His,
Joy

Heather said...

Woooheee, I was blessed by this post! I stopped by yesterday and just did not have the time to sit and read this post, so I revisited this morning (after I saw you:) and had to giggle. I was overly transparent this morning;) Guess we never have to worry about sincerity together!

You are so gifted in the way the Lord leads your heart and how you transcribe that into what we can relate to. Thank you for being a vessel and for lifting hearts all the time...you serve the Lord so beautifully!

And just for the record, I think you happen to be the coolest and best mom ever:) Wasn't that my kids drooling out the window as you passed us after a little visit to the ice cream stand??? Go, Mom, Go!!

Great post,Sharon.

Love,
Heather

Cindy said...

You are right ~ God's word is right ~ Love and friendship must be sincere!!

I'm excited because I am going to start the on-line study of the book your mentioned next week. I can hardly wait.

Blessings, Cindy