"How many of you have some sort of internet chatting system?" almost all hands go up
"Okay, how many of you have email?" every hand is raised
"Thought so. Now how many of you are completely sincere online?" everybody looks confused and checks on person next to him to see what he's doing
Yes, I made that up, but it sounds realistic. Sincerity is something I've been thinking about a bit recently. Dictionary.com defines it as: "freedom from deceit, hypocrisy, or duplicity; probity in intention or in communicating; earnestness."
So, I went to evaluating myself. Am I generally a sincere person?
- freedom from deceit, hypocrisy, or duplicity: no problems there, in real life or on the internet
- probity in intention or in communicating: *looks up probity* yep, i'm an honest kind of a girl
- earnestness: orange alert! possible problem area here
Looking back over the past few weeks, I tried to see where I might have had the most problems being sincere or earnest. I realized I sometimes pretend to be more interested in conversions than I really am for politeness's sake. However, I discovered that my biggest weakness is the internet. Imagine, a friend writes me:
"Hey!!!! How are you? I miss you soooooooo much!!! :( You are one of the best friends a girl could ask for and I'm so glad you got a facebook now! Anything exciting planned for this summer? *hugs* Love you tons!!!!! <333"
As most of you know, I like to agree. So I'll probably write back:
"Hey, girl!!!! I'm doing great! My summer's been pretty awesome! I went to several camps and learned tons. I miss you too!!! *hugs back* How's your summer been? Write back soon! Love you!"
Now the question is: Am I really that bubbly? Now, my friend here might be like that. (The entire thing is faked, just so ya know, although I've seen similar.) That's fine, because that's her personality. For me, I want to show her I care and that I value her friendship. It's like a ridge-pole. Be too happy-happy and I fall off being insincere; be too serious and I look uncaring or boring.
I decided to see what the Bible had to say about sincerity.
Romans 12:9-10 - "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves."
1 Tim 1: 5-6
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.
1 Peter 1:22-23
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
I found out that love and sincerity were very much interwoven. To really love, I need to be sincere. It isn't a question of being truthful to your friends as much as it is a question of love. The 1 Timothy verse really stood out to me. I need to love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. Otherwise, it's just meaningless talk. In a way that is the conclusion of the matter: it's either sincerity or it's meaningless talk. Now, I have to make up my mind to strive for sincerity.