HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
“Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” Psalm 51:6
The Path to a Renewed Sincerity
First, we must win a deeper reverence for ourselves. We must believe in individual possibilities. We must remember there are no nobodies with God.
- If I am only a leaf tossed by the wind,
- If I am only a flake carried on the stream,
- if I am only a light that flashes and is gone,
- if it will be all the same a hundred years hence, it matters little whether I am sincere or not.
I must not mock myself with any self-importance. But if I am a man called into being by an everlasting God, nurtured and bosomed in eternal love, gifted with faculties that only eternity can ripen, and filled with a ceaseless craving for the truth, to be untrue to self is self-destruction. Therefore, when I am tempted to be insincere, I fall back first upon Bible doctrine. I see my weakness there. I see my fall. But I see there such hopes for me, such possibilities for me, that to be me–myself–becomes a new ambition. And to be me is to be sincere.
Then we must gain a profound faith in God. There is no choice about it. We simply must. I defy any man to be consciously insincere who lives under these eyes that are a flame of fire. It is because God is distant, hidden in the clouds that are around His throne, that we dare be one man within, another man without. The old religious sculptors, says a writer, who came to their tasks with prayer and meditation on unearthly beauty, would never suffer any imperfect workmanship even though placed where a man could never see it. And when one questioned them why the concealed parts of statues removed from human sight should be so exquisitely made, they answered that the eyes of the gods were there. “Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hidden from the Lord, and my goings are passed over from my God?” It is a speech like Jacob’s that makes insincerity so easy. It is the practice of God’s presence that makes it hard.
And we must gain a closer fellowship with Christ. Of all the help whereby I struggle onwards toward sincerity, there is none like daily fellowship with Him. If it ennobles me to live with noble souls and makes me purer to have a pure woman for my friend, how will it shame me into a new sincerity to live with the sincerest heart that ever beat! There are some men with whom I could not gossip. There are some men in whose presence slander dies. There is one Man whose very company kills insincerity, and that is Christ. When I am near to Him, and He to me, I am proportionately true. When I have lost Him, banished Him, driven Him from His center and His throne, like a strong tide my insincerity creeps up again.
There is a sad lack of sincerity today, but let us not be blinded to the fact that sincerity is not the only virtue. I am not necessarily good, I am not necessarily right, I am not necessarily saved, because I am sincere. There is a call for new sincerity in every heart, yet that sincerity is but a stepping-stone. I may sincerely believe the earth is flat, and yet for all my sincerity, the earth is round. I may sincerely consider my friend to be a hero, and yet in spite of that, my friend may be a scamp. I may sincerely be convinced Christ never arose, yet Christ did arise and is at the right hand of God today. Sincerity without humility is the obstinacy out of which fools are made. The truly sincere man is always humble, feels like a child amid God’s infinite mysteries and cries in his heart, “Light, light, more light”; till God in His own way leads him there. And the light is light indeed, and the light indeed is love. And neither height nor depth, nor life nor death, nor any other creature, shall separate him from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.