Inside and Outside Jesus spoke harshly against the Pharisee’s of the day – they looked like they had a godly life on the outside and yet, Jesus knew their hearts on the inside where not fully devoted to God.
Today people call that hypocrisy – when people hear your say one thing and yet do something else, or if people know you say you believe one thing and yet your actions don’t line up. People will loose respect for you if they sense you are a hypocrite. But what about God?
Just as Jesus had no time for the hypocrites of his day, he doesn’t like this falseness today either. Jesus wants us to worship him with our whole lives – inside and out.
When we choose a piece of fruit we look for a piece that looks fresh, crisp, and clear of blemishes but we can only see the outside. So we judge a piece of fruit by the outside but when we take a big bite and we hit a bruised, bad part, ughhh, it is awful! The inside wasn’t consistent with the outside and we are disappointed.
Jesus is the same – he wants us to sincerely love him and when we do the insides and the outsides will match up. Our hearts and our actions will show that we love him.
Luke 6:46-48 “but why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, He is like a wise man who built a house…”
We must hear God’s Word and do it. Our heart and our actions must line up with the Word of God.
How often have we heard the comment “I was only joking”? More often than not it is to get out of a spot of conflict. We suddenly realize that our words may have hurt someone and we don’t want to ‘fess up and apologise and get it right. We excuse our indiscretion by saying I was only joking!
This is not being sincere in our relationships. Proverbs 26:19 says we are living in deceit if this is what we say.
Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbour and says, “I was only joking”. Prov 26:18-19
This verse paints a very graphic image – a madman doesn’t know where his firebrands are going to land, and yet he shoots them off without thinking. This is exactly like our words – and we cannot excuse them by saying we are joking.
Sarcasm is an expression of humour and for many teens it becomes a habbit. Studying sincerity is a good time to remind us all, but especially if you are prone to sarcasm, that our words must reflect our heart. That people will judge us by our words and we need to always portray our true selves. So use sarcasm with caution.
We can look good by doing the right thing but unless we have the right motives it is all as dirt. I am reminded of the 1 Cor 13 verses, unless I have love, my actions are nothing, are as a loud clanging cymbal.
Why do you do good?
- out of fear for the consequences
- because you think you’ll get something from it (selfish gain)
- because it is right?
To be sincere our actions need to be driven by a love for Jesus and a desire to be like Him. We need His help though as we are no more able to keep all His commands than the people of the Old Testament. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help us. We need to ensure we don’t grieve the Holy Spirit by being humble when we fail, asking for forgiveness and committing in our hearts to walk in His ways.
We know what a person thinks,
not when he tells us what he thinks,
but by his actions.
- Isaac Basheuis Singer
The idea of praising our children for the character displayed rather than the achievements made is exactly in line with building sincerity. Good character will produce good actions so when we focus on the character displayed we are encouraging their hearts, their inner self.
As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man – Prov 27:19
It is what is in our hearts that will make us the person we are.
Read more on praising our children
As mum’s we have such a desire to teach and train our children that we often focus our attention on the instruction needed.
A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher – Luke 6:40
Isn’t that challenging! It makes me look at the issues in my life and want to get them right. And yet, we can’t hide or run from this challenge and not instruct our children until we have it right.
We need to walk in humility and be honest with our children when we do fail. Contrary to what we immediately think, our children don’t lose respect for you this transparency (sincerity) you actually gain their respect.
Click here to read this encouragement to Homeschool Mums
Be content to seem what you are
- Marcus Aurelius
For many years I have journaled during my personal Quiet Time and personal Bible Studies. Unfortunately, I haven’t always kept my notes organised so I feel many of my lessons are lost (though hopefully written on my heart), which makes me very passionate about
, i.e. filing my notes in a binder!
One of the things I have learnt to do in my personal Quiet Times is to reflect over my day, or previous day, in the light of God’s light. What are the things He has been saying to me, and how am I going. It is in this reflective aspect of journaling, added to assessing and pressing forward, that growth happens.
Much like a sports team has a debrief as they prepare for the next game. Where did we do well? Where did we fall short? What needs to be worked on this week so we are ready for the next game?
Journaling is my debrief – seeing my weak points, seeing where I grew and did well, setting myself strong to do better the next time. To do so, takes a commitment to sincerity - I have to ask myself “Am I sincere with God? I know He can see my inside and my outside and yet do I acknowledge, even to myself, my weak points and my growth?”
So when you look back at your day, maybe start journaling, I encourage you to write more than a “dear diary” write “Dear God…” and be ready for the things God brings to light.