Pastor Marc Likins
9. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
10. That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
Centuries ago, when dishonest potters would try to pass off their cracked pots and jars as high quality, they would fill the fractures with wax and then smooth it all over so their customers couldn’t see the defects. Gullible buyers wouldn’t notice the cracks. It was only when they put these items into use and poured hot water into them, would they notice their defects—the jars and pots would start leaking right away.
The word “sincere” in Philippians means without wax. It’s a word used to masterfully describe the genuine authenticity of someone.
Authenticity is a quality so elusive that you don’t get there by accident—you have to choose the lifestyle attached to it. To be authentic, are you willing to take two steps toward this type of lifestyle? Are you willing to examine yourself and stop judging others?
Naturally, you’re nodding yes to this question, but are you really willing to examine your motives—the why behind all the good that you do? (Remember, proper actions with improper motives do not please God.)
Next, are you willing to loosen your grip on wanting to correct every person within your audience of influence, and let God handle that for you? The Bible is filled with verses on how that’s His job in the first place.
1. Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
1 Corinthians 4:3-5:
3. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
4. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
5. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
We can check our motives and ensure we are stepping aside to allow God to be the judge. But in addition, we need to remember that true authenticity comes from God’s work in us.
The Bible tells us that we are His workmanship. We can wrap ourselves around that truth a little too much sometimes. “Yeah! Look at me! I’m God’s original masterpiece—living my best life letting my true colors come out!”
But, the Bible also tells us that Jesus (who began a good work in us) will continue working on us until the day of Christ.
Consider this! It took God six days to make the whole of creation with all of its complexities, and He has been working on me for more than twenty years already!
The road to authenticity is a lifetime choice.
Would you meditate on this question today?
Because we all find authenticity magnetic and hypocrisy compulsive, what in your life are you doing that looks great on the outside but is truthfully covered in sinful motives?