– – – be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.—Phil. 1:10
Sincere means ‘without wax’. Many people in Rome’s palmy (prosperous) days, lived in fine marble palaces. Sometimes a dishonest workman, when there was a piece chipped off a stone, would fill in the chink with a kind of cement called wax, an imitation of marble. For a time the deception would not be discovered—but after a while the wax would become discolored, thus revealing the defect. It became necessary to put in contracts, a clause stating that the work should be ‘sine cera’, without wax. This is the origin of the word sincere. It means that the life thus described, is true through and through. It makes no pretensions. It has nothing to hide.
Insincerity in any form mars the beauty of life. Unreal professions of friendship are to be guarded against. So are over-statements of religious experience. We remember in what scathing words our Lord denounced hypocrisy. This was the only sin of which he did not speak with pity and compassion. So in many parts of the Scripture we are cautioned against insincerity. We are to have sincere faith. We are to have sincere love of the brethren. We are to love without hypocrisy. Few things do more harm to the cause of Christ, than insincerity in those who profess to be his friends. Sincerity gives influence and power to life.–J. R. Miller