By: Brian A. Yeager
The word “insincere” means: “not expressing genuine feelings” (New Oxford American Dictionary). We live in a very insincere world. Liars abound. The world is full of wickedness (I John 5:19). Thus, it is no surprise that we have people telling us things that they really do not mean. There are even people who pretend to be truth seekers, but they are insincere in what they say to us (Luke 20:20). There are false brethren too (Matthew 7:15-20 and II Peter 2:1-3). Therefore, we can know that we’ll often have people telling us things they do not mean.
People often ask, “how are you today”. However, do they really want to know the answer? People often say, “is there anything I can do for you”. However, will they really help you if you tell them what you need? There are thousands of phrases that people say, but it is common knowledge that those phrases are really empty. Does this mean that we should allow the fact that the world allows for insincerity to influence us? Should we say things that we don’t mean just because everyone else does?
Many times the world is more influential in the lives of Christians than Christians are in the world. Of course, this is backwards (Matthew 5:14-16 and Philippians 2:14-16). However, it is still the truth. Evil is a corrupting influence (I Corinthians 15:33). Notice the following words of wisdom from our Lord: “Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God… Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding… He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Psalms 119:115, Proverbs 9:6, and Proverbs 13:20). Just because the world allows for insincerity, that does not mean we should!
It Is A Matter Of Honesty
If a Christian says something, people should know it is the truth. We know there are false brethren who make promises they never intend to keep (Jude 12-19). We’re not talking about the wolves in sheep’s clothing though. What we are talking about are those Christians who make empty statements and promises. These people think that their statements are just casual statements of a polite person, but those statements are really lies. Is it ever okay to say something you really don’t mean? Let’s look to the Scriptures and find the answer. Notice what God says: “Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another… Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously… The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment… Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight… Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another… Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds… But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Leviticus 19:11, Psalms 119:29, Proverbs 12:19, Proverbs 12:22, Ephesians 4:25, Colossians 3:9, Revelation 21:8).
Now, there are people who will read this article and conclude that these things do not apply to them. There are people who will reason to themselves and conclude something like this (an actual paraphrase from someone who I’ve talked to about this): “To me, it is not a lie when I offer to help someone, while I am really hoping they don’t call on me. I will do what I offered if they call on me to do so. I just hope that they don’t actually call on me.” Brethren, let’s examine whether or not it is honest to make an offer we hope someone does not take us up on.
Making Offers We Hope People Don’t Take Us Up On
A brother or sister in Christ says something like this: “If you need anything, at anytime, just give me a call”. Two months later, the phone rings. The brother or sister in Christ who made this offer answers the phone. When the person on the other end of the call reminds this brother or sister in Christ of their offer, there is some shock. There is a request for help. All of a sudden, Mr. or Mrs. “I’ll help anytime with anything” doesn’t know what to say. He or she helps, so that he or she is not seen as a liar. However, they do so grudgingly. What happened to “anything” and “anytime”?
First and foremost, as Christians we should ALWAYS say what we mean and mean what we say (Proverbs 8:7). A Christian knows that God expects us to measure our words before we say them (Psalms 39:1, Proverbs 13:3, Proverbs 15:28, and James 1:19). If I promise someone that I will be there for them anytime there is a need, I better mean it (Romans 12:17). Otherwise, I have said something that I do not mean.
Secondly, our love for our brethren is supposed to be sincere (I Peter 1:22). Our love for one another is to be a fervent [without ceasing] love (I Peter 4:8). Love goes so far as to be willing to give our lives for one another (John 15:12-13). Therefore, I must be ever ready to put the needs of my brethren before the needs of myself (Romans 12:10 and Galatians 5:13-14). If I insincerely offer my help to a brother or sister in Christ, I have failed on the multiple levels we’ve discussed thus far.
Finally, if I keep my word but do so grudgingly; I’ve erred on yet another point of truth. Consider, out of many points on this that could be made, these two Scriptures: “Grudge [with grief, sighing] not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door… Use hospitality one to another without grudging [secret displeasure]” (James 5:9 and I Peter 4:9).
The dictionary defines faithful like this: “loyal, constant, and steadfast” (New Oxford American Dictionary). When you look at the word faithful, as it appears in verses such as Ephesians 1:1, you find that the Greek word [pistos; Strong’s #4103] means: “trustworthy, reliable, believing, faithful” (Strong’s & Vine’s). We are not faithful when we’re insincere. Let’s be a people who are sincere and without offence till the day of Christ (Philippians 1:10 and Titus 2:7).
Volume 12 – Issue 42 - July 8th, 2012