By Lance Cordle
One of the highly valued virtues of our current culture is sincerity. If someone comes across as being sincere, they are admired for that trait. Indeed, God appreciates and wants sincerity as well, and what is more—God actually knows whether a person is sincere or not (Acts 4:32-Acts 5:6).
A problem comes about when a person is sincere, but wrong. Interesting, is it not? Sincerity is valued by our culture, but judging between right and wrong is not. Actually, it is left up to individuals to decide for themselves. There are definite problems with such assessment, as can be seen in three recent events.
On Monday afternoon, April 13, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Many people were seriously injured and three people lost their lives. In the midst of the chaos, Tyler Dodd rushed to the side of an injured young woman and attempted to calm her in regard to her very serious wounds. She had already been sufficiently to get ready for transport. He decided to rely on his personal instincts and tell her that he had been injured by shrapnel in Iraq and had a scar from it. Thus, she could be comforted by the knowledge that if he could live with a scar, so could she. The major problem in his plan, however, was that he was not a veteran and had not been injured—He just sincerely wanted to comfort her. She even said that it did not matter to her that he lied to her., because his words had the desired effect.
A few days later, following the capture of the remaining bomber, the Boston Red Sox were scheduled to play baseball at the home stadium, Fenway Park. One of the players, David Ortiz made a highly emotional speech to the crowd and was raucously cheered on when he enthusiastically shouted an expletive. Normally the FCC would fine someone for such a breech in a broadcast, but not David Ortiz. The reason: He obviously “spoke from the heart.”
Finally, on April 28, 2013, news anchor, A.J. Clemente starting his first day of work with a TV station in North Dakota, cursed repeatedly as he pondered thepronunciation of the names of the winner of the London Marathon. And yes, the microphone was “hot” and he was heard by thousands of people. He was fired by the station later that week.
As you can see, all three people mentioned above were sincere in their intentions, but what they did was wrong. In each situation, self-control and godly thought could have prevailed and served well to truly build up the listeners. Instead we are left with mixed messages and embarrassment. “For, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34)
- Lance Cordle preaches the Calvert City Church of Christ in Calvert City, KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com