The Sincerity of Praise
Day 207: The Sincerity of Praise
Philippians 1:10–11 (AV) — 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
SINCE'RE, a. [Fr. from L. sincerus, which is said to be composed of sine, without, and cera, wax1
1 Webster, Noah. Noah Webster's first edition of An American Dictionary of the English language. 2006: n. pag. Print.
Sincere comes directly from the Latin and means "without wax." The reason for this is because, in ancient times, pottery could be a lucrative business. If a potter took the vessel from the brick kiln and discovered flaws, he had a few choices. He could throw the pottery out or cover the defects with wax and paint over the flaws and present it to the potential buyer as if it were a perfect specimen. By doing this, the potter could undercut the competition. Often, a sign would be posted by the potter that read "Sincere" or "Without wax." An honest potter would hold the pottery up to the sunlight and demonstrate to the potential buyer that there were no flaws in the pottery and that it was free from wax.
You have heard the statement, "It doesn't matter what you believe as long as you are sincere."
That sounds good, but when have you heard of the pottery telling the potter that it is sincere? It is the potter that knows every flaw and whether or not the pottery is sincere. God will put us under the microscope of the light of His word to show us our weaknesses. We can pretend we don't have any, that is, we can put wax on our flaws, or we can allow our potter to reveal our imperfections so that He can repair them, to place the stamp on us, "Sincere."
The ancient Japanese had a way of repairing broken vessels. They would use gold to patch the broken pottery back together. This method is called Kintsugi, "golden joinery." The completed process shows that even broken vessels can be made beautiful again. But unless the flaws are revealed, the repairs cannot be made.
God can take our broken vessels and make them usable, but not if we're insincere. Interestingly, Paul used the word "sincere" in our text. His readers would've known the allusion and understood that he meant for them to be without wax in their walk with God. No more faking. No more hypocrisy. We need to be real before God and allow Him to repair our flaws. After referring to pottery (by referring to sincerity), he makes the statement, "Being filled with the fruits of righteousness." It requires a vessel to have no leaks to be filled. Only God can seal us up and fill us. It is only by "Jesus Christ" that we can be made "unto the glory and praise of God."