The operational definition of sincerity is “eagerness to do what is right, with transparent motives.” God’s Word tells us what is right and that we should desire to eagerly do His will. “I will run the way of thy commandments . . . . I shall observe it [Thy Law] with my whole heart” (Psalm 119:32, 34). Sincerity, however, looks beyond one’s “right” actions and examines the heart motives behind them. Motives are the reasons why we do what we do. Sincere motives are based on God’s standard of righteousness, not on what society or culture finds acceptable. One of the Greek words for sincere means “judged in the sunlight.” Holding a drinking glass up to the sunlight reveals water spots that you otherwise might not see. Likewise, you can examine your own motives by holding them up to the light of God’s Word, which is able to discern the real intentions of your heart. (See Hebrews 4:12.) Godly actions are motivated by love instead of selfishness.
The opposite of sincerity is hypocrisy. A hypocrite is a person who pretends to be someone he is not. He may appear to be moral, upright, or religious, but in reality, he cares more about keeping up an appearance than being in right standing with God. What he does in private is also different from what he teaches others to do. Jesus repeatedly rebuked the religious leaders for teaching people to do what they would not practice themselves! Because of this hypocrisy, Jesus taught the people to follow the leaders’ right teachings but not to copy their actions which were contrary to those teachings. (See Matthew 23:1–3.) Do your actions show that you sincerely believe with your heart what your lips say is right? Or do your actions reveal a hypocritical heart that is far from God?
(See Isaiah 29:13.)
- Am I seeking the Lord and His ways with my whole heart?
- Do I uphold Scriptural principles whether I am at home or in public?
- Do I try to justify or hide certain sins in my life?
- Am I harsh with others who possess the same shortcomings that I have?
- Is my primary goal to please men or God?
- Am I allowing God to change me from the inside out, or am I trying to copy the outward good actions of others?
- Am I transparent about my failures so that I can gain the accountability I need for spiritual growth?
- Are my words and actions consistent with each other, or are they contradictory?
- Do I genuinely try to help others without wanting anything in return?
More About Sincerity
God enables me to:
Examine my motives.
Speak with integrity.
Be wholly dedicated.
Be all that He wants me to be.
Remove the mask.
Take responsibility for my actions.
Mean what I say.
Not take advantage of others.
Sincerity in Scripture
God’s Reward to a wholehearted Follower
Revealed in Nature
Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum
View the Sincerity booklet sample:
Free Resources for Sincerity
Enjoy these selections from the Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum that are fun and memorable!