Wednesday’s Word: Sincerity

 

I am not afraid. I am going to talk because I know my own heart. (Job 9: 35)

 

Sharing what’s in our hearts takes courage. Knowing what’s in our hearts to begin with takes courage, too.

 

When we’re afraid of being judged, criticized, or rejected, we’re not likely to expose our deepest feelings. There’s nothing wrong with putting our best foot forward, but when we consistently put on a false front we can lose ourselves. We bury those parts of ourselves we wish weren’t there without even realizing that we’re cutting off a very real part of who we are. No matter how many friends we have, if all they ever see is our false front, we may still feel isolated.

 

Negative feelings don’t go away just because we don’t acknowledge them. Buried alive, they sometimes leak out sideways. Just ask those we live or work with. The irony is that we need to face our shadowy secrets and accept that they are part of us before we can let them go. This isn’t always easy. Growing in awareness of God’s unconditional love helps us feel safe enough to face our true selves. Encouragement and emotional support from people we trust also helps.

 

When we dare to face the truth, however unflattering it may be, we often find relief. Sharing this truth in a safe environment—in a confessional, a counselor’s office, or the home of an understanding friend in whom we can confide—is healing. We can grow, communicate sincerely, and develop genuine relationships when we, like Job, aren’t afraid and we know our own hearts.

 

Prayer: Lord, grant me the courage to be honest with myself.

 

Reflection: What’s going on inside your heart today?

 

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Meditations

But Jesus answered “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’” (Matthew 4:4)

 

All Bible quotes are from the Good News Translation unless otherwise noted.

 

It is reassuring that Jesus called fishermen and tax collectors to be his followers. These were laymen, not Scripture experts. It is wise to seek guidance from religious scholars and clergy who have studied Scripture to avoid errors in interpretation. But the Bible is also a gift given to each of us, to use as a basis for prayer and meditation.

 

I’m not a Biblical scholar; I’m an expert only on my own experience. Following the Scripture passage is a brief meditation along with a question or two as a springboard for your own reflections. Please feel free to share your own thoughts or insights on the passage by adding a comment. All comments are moderated, so please allow some time for your comment to be posted.

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