Sincerity - Heart and Actions in Sync
Our insides need to line up with our outsides
Our outsides need to line up with our insides.
Sometimes it helps to understand the meaning of something by understanding the opposite. I think that is true when considering Sincerity. The opposite is hypocrisy – where what is inside doesn’t line up with what is on the outside, or vice versa – what’s on the outside doesn’t line up with what’s on the inside.
One of the activities we did from Character First when we tried to teach our kids this concept when they were little was filling an orange with mud – this was done in secret so the children had no idea. I then presented them with this beautiful looking orange – boy did it look delicious – it was a hot day and we really wanted some of that juicy orange. When I cut it open though – YUKKK! It was full of mud. It did not look the same inside as it did on the outside.
A similiar analogy that Australian's would be familiar with is comparing the ridgy-didge TimTam’s (the best biscuit ever invented apparently!) with a Coles’ generic version. The Coles’ version looks the same on the outside, but when you take a bite you know that it is an imitation, it is not quite the same. This is hypocrisy – lacking sincerity!
In order to be sincere, we need to check our heart – that our beliefs are in line with the word of God and then we need to check our actions, that they are inline with our beliefs.
I was talking to a mum about this and it dawned on me that our children can have a right heart and yet their actions can still be out of whack. So often we spend all our energies on working on the heart but sometimes they need to work on their actions as well. It goes both ways.
Body language is an issue of sincerity. Yes, I know that body language reflects the heart and if the heart has attitude you will see it in body language but I think there is a flip side as well. Our body language can sometimes get caught up in habit – it maybe something that we’ve seen someone else do and we subconsciously copy it, it maybe something we’ve just started to do – and yet when you look at it, it doesn’t really reflect what is in your heart. We need to change our actions to line up with our heart.
Tone of voice is the same thing – often we get into a pattern of behaviour and it doesn’t truly reflect our heart. We need to work on our tone, not so much our heart.
Sometimes we are approached with a new idea and we can honestly say “I have never thought of that!” That doesn’t mean our heart is out of tune with God’s Word necessarily – it just means that it has never been thought through. This too is a matter of sincerity – an opportunity to line up our actions with our beliefs.
Galatians talks about us not being saved by works – and yet James says that “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?” (James 2:14) And then I am reminded of Abraham – he is recognised for his faith – and yet he got up and did what God required of him. His faith led him to actions of faith. He was sincere.
To be a sincere believer we must have both the heart and the actions in tune with God’s Word.
Live life with your kids!
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