Character Blog


By September 24, 2019 No Comments

“Our goal is love that comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5

How would you define sincerity? I mean, we all know what it feels like because we have experienced both sincerity and insincerity. Curious as to how my kiddos would define it, I posed the question to them. They all answered along the lines of genuine or heart felt. That was a good start, similar to my own thinking, but I felt like that wasn’t the full essence of the word. So I went to my good friend, Webster, to see what he had to say:

honesty of mind or intention, freedom from hypocrisy, disguise, and pretense

BINGO! That’s what I was looking for!

First of all, consider honesty of mind or intention. What do we know about the opposite of those? Manipulative, self-seeking? Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone’s manipulation? They disguise their self-seeking as sincerity but after awhile their true intentions become known.

Secondly, freedom from hypocrisy, disguise, and pretense.  In other words, it’s the freedom to be you! When someone approaches and confides in you about a marriage conflict or a parenting concern (for example), do you pretend to have the perfect life or does your sincerity enable you to share your own conflicts in order to encourage someone who is struggling?


There are two things you can start doing today to reclaim sincerity:

BE ATTENTIVE – Whether with kids or adults, pay attention to what they are saying! This usually means stopping what you are doing so that you can put the focus on them. Be a good listener. I’ve been the mom (more often than I’d like to admit) that nods her head only to wonder “what did they just say?” as the child walked out of the room. If that’s not a convicting reason to be attentive, I don’t know what is! My kids have often called me out by saying something along the lines of “Mom, you’re here but you’re not.” If someone doesn’t feel like you are sincere, why should they bother sharing with you their joys or concerns? This becomes especially important as your kids transition into teenagers. If mom or dad didn’t listen for the first 12 years, why would they start at year 13 or 16?

BE REAL – What type of an imprint do you leave on others? In today’s social media frenzy, it’s tempting to portray our lives as perfect and tidy when in fact they are just as messy as everyone else’s. I’m not suggesting you hang out all of your dirty laundry for the world to see but if you appear too perfect you may miss an opportunity to mentor or minister to someone with a real need. This is also super important as kids grow up.  Trust me, if there is anyone who can and will pick up on hypocrisy, it’ll be your kids.

FOR THE LITTLES – Defining sincerity “as not tricking others” is a good way to introduce little hearts to what manipulation looks like – was the action done with self in mind? What does this look like for a young child? An example would be a child offering to share with a friend. However, they really want the toy the other child has.  The action – sharing – seems like the right thing but the end goal is an insincere one because they have self in mind (they get what they wanted). Pay attention to and identify manipulative behavior in your children so that it can be corrected early.

“The one condition for spiritual progress is that we remain sincere and humble.” John Calvin

Tracy LaBreche