Saturday, March 7, 2015

Sincerity Part 1 - Speech

               Sincerity is defined as “the quality free from pretense, deceit, and hypocrisy.” So often, I get caught in the trap of saying whatever comes to my mind, good or bad, without thinking about what I say. I think that’s why I enjoy writing so much: I can say what I want without any unnecessary extravagance. I can get right to the point without saying something I regret.


                As Christians, I think we should be sincere in everything we do. In fact, I would even go as far to say that if you are not sincere in what you do, you are better off not doing it at all. When we love, we should love with everything we have; when we forgive, we should forgive with everything we have; when we praise God, we should praise him with all the strength we have. What I want to focus on today, though, is sincere speech: When we speak, our minds should be focused and alert, using everything we say to show people Christ and to bring Him glory.

                As teenagers, we often get caught in the trap of bad language and crude jokes. So many times I have tried to find the grace to tell people what I think about it, too, but I always end up feeling like I think I’m better than everyone else, and that’s not the kind of message I want to spread. What I want to tell people is this: As Christians, we are supposed to spread Christ’s love and show the mark of His grace on our lives. When we use bad language, it does not honor God, and why would we ever want to do anything that doesn't honor God?

                Paul writes in Ephesians 5:29: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

                When I was really little, I used to wonder what made a bad word bad. I knew all the words I wasn't supposed to say, and I knew I couldn't say them because they were bad, but I didn't know what made them bad. Now, I think I know. I think bad words are bad because they are unnecessary. Most of the time, bad language is inserted into a sentence that would still be a sentence if the word wasn't there. I think that one unnecessary word make what you say no longer sincere.

                Most of the time, start to use bad language as some sort of a “rite of passage” into the adult world. All of a sudden, they feel independent and able to make big decisions on their own. And sometimes, if they start to use the word early enough, they are suddenly cool.

                Not only bad language is the problem, though. We throw around phrases like I’m sorry and I love you when we don’t really mean them. We use flattery and trickery and hypocrisy without even thinking. So, my challenge to you is to be sincere. Be purposeful.

                I’ll end on this note from Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

                XO and God bless,

                Mary Shelley

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