Focus – No “Wax,” Please!
By Lt. Colonel Mervyn Morelock –
“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in truth.” Joshua 24:14
Both the Old and New Testament place high premiums on sincerity. From the warning of Joshua to the people of Israel recorded in Joshua 24:14 to Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience,” the Bible emphasizes that the Lord requires our hearty and complete devotion. The origin of the word “sincerity” is interesting. At the height of Rome’s fame, when the Tiber River was lined with noble palaces made of choicest marble, men vied with each other in the construction of these impressive buildings. Gifted sculptors were much in demand, and immense sums were paid for their elaborate workmanship. Many arches and columns and statues remain to this day as a testament to their artistry and craftsmanship.
Some less skilled artisans, however, resorted to deceitful tricks to maintain their positions in the marble sculpting community. If they accidentally chipped the edges of a stone they were working on or discovered a conspicuous flaw in their carving, they would fill the crack or chip to mask the deficiency with a specially prepared wax that looked exactly like the marble. Sometimes their deception would not be discovered for many months until extreme heat or dampness caused the wax to melt or dislodge from the marble.
Therefore, those who decided to erect additional structures began to insert a binding clause in their contract that said the work, “from first to last, is to be sine cera,” that is, “without wax.”
This is where we have derived our word, “sincerity,” which means, “to avoid any attempt to misrepresent.”
The New Testament contains many references for us to be “sincere.” “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith!” Timothy 1:5
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for our brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” 1 Peter 1:22-23
So let us love and serve him sincerely, “without wax!” Let us love God and follow him with all our hearts!