Sincerity—Desirable, but Is It Enough?
IS SINCERITY really desirable in our daily life? A dictionary defines “sincerity” as “freedom from pretence or hypocrisy; honesty; straightforwardness; genuineness.” Clearly, this quality is beneficial in promoting good relationships with others. The apostle Paul admonished: “Be obedient in everything to those who are your masters in a fleshly sense, not with acts of eye-service, as men pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, with fear of Jehovah.” (Colossians 3:22) Who would not appreciate having such a sincere person working for him? Today, sincere people may have a better chance of finding and keeping their jobs.
What makes sincerity most desirable, however, is the way it affects our relationship with God. The ancient Israelites enjoyed God’s blessing when they carefully observed the laws and the festivals. While discussing congregational cleanness, Paul urged Christians: “Let us keep the festival, not with old leaven, neither with leaven of badness and wickedness, but with unfermented cakes of sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:8) For our worship to be acceptable to God, sincerity is not only desirable but also essential. Yet, note that sincerity alone is not enough. It must be complemented with truth.
The builders and the passengers of the Titanic might sincerely have believed that the ocean liner was unsinkable. On its maiden voyage in 1912, however, it struck an iceberg and 1,517 people lost their lives. Certain first-century Jews might sincerely have believed in their way of worshiping God, but their zeal was “not according to accurate knowledge.” (Romans 10:2) For us to be acceptable to God, our sincere beliefs must be based on accurate information. Jehovah’s Witnesses in your community will be happy to assist you in examining what is involved in serving God with sincerity and truth.