Sincerity. It means free from pretense or deceit. It comes from Latin “sine” without and “cera” wax. Without wax. Ancient marble sculptures that didn’t have wax in the imperfections and cracks were stamped “sine cera” denoting they were true and perfect marble, even with their faults.
When we are vulnerable enough to reveal our faults and cracks and don’t fill them with fake and pretense, then we are being the real us. Trouble is we don’t think people will want a cracked version of us. We all have our faults. It’s when we pretend they don’t exist or that others don’t see them that we are in danger.
James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
About a year ago, I struggled with depression. I was tired of filing the cracks with wax. So, I went six months to professional Christian counseling and met with a couple trusted pastors as well. I revealed my cracks instead of trying to fill them with wax, pretending they didn’t exist. Pretending is the fastest way to stop the flow of the Spirit. Pastors aren’t supposed to struggle, right? I feel that way often. Reveal too much and you fear getting fired. Reveal too little and you seem super spiritual. It’s the pretense right in the middle that most dangerous.
I got even bolder and revealed my struggle with a couple of small groups of guys I regularly meet with. I was vulnerable. Truly, only one of those guys checked on me throughout that entire struggle, but thank God for that one guy who prayed for me, called me, met with me, and believed in a better and healed version of me. He loved me with my faults right where I was!
Vulnerability is like running up a steep hill. I have a spot where I run that’s a little scary. You can’t see the car coming over the hill and they can’t see you. Normally, I run on the left side of the road. But when approaching that hill, I get over to the right, hoping and trusting they stay in their lane. I trust when I make myself most vulnerable people are most responsible.
I’m better today with my cracks revealed so God’s Spirit can truly fill and heal them. What cracks are you hiding? What are you pretending is whole when it isn’t? Who will you trust to help you through it?
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.
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