Biblical Example – David
II Samuel 12:1-14 and Psalm 51

In the twelfth chapter of II Samuel, Nathan confronts David with his sins of murder and adultery: 

This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says:  ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul….Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes?  You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own.  You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.  Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own (12:7,9-10 NIV*).

David’s response reveals something about his character:

I have sinned against the LORD” (12:13). 

He takes responsibility for his actions; he doesn’t blame others; he demonstrates sincerity.

David responds to Nathan’s rebuke by writing Psalm 51, and in the Psalm he continues to show this spirit of sincerity, his eagerness to do what is right.  In Psalm 51 we can see evidence of our working definition of sincerity:


For I know my transgressions,                                               Takes responsibility for his own

and my sin is always before me                                              actions

Against you, you only, have I sinned

and done what is evil in your sight. (3-4)


Create in me a pure heart, O God,                                         Transparent motives

And renew a steadfast spirit within me. (10)


Restore to me the joy of your salvation                                   Be all that I can be

And grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (12)


O Lord, open my lips,                                                             Always mean what I say

And my mouth will declare your praise. (15)


Sincerity in our Lives

 Some practical evidence of sincerity we can see in our lives today are seen in the following “I will” statements:

          I will be all that I can be.

         I will take responsibility for my own actions.

         I will respect other’s opinions.

         I will always mean what I say.

         I will not take advantage of other people.

Divide into pairs and discuss:

  •  What kinds of things in a Christian’s daily life make it difficult to live out the 5 “I wills”?         (Some possible answers:  Lack of focus on God, selfishness, too busy, thoughtlessness, in a hurry, etc.)
  •  How would the body of Christ be different if Christians were sincere and lived out the 5 ‘I wills”? (Some possible answers:  successful resolutions to disagreements, more spiritual growth in individuals and in the body as a whole, body would be more attractive to non-Christians, etc.)


Sincerity In My Life This Week—

 Spend a few minutes in personal reflection:

  •  Choose one “I will” to work on this week. Plan what action step you will take and share it with a trusted friend who will pray and help you follow through.


* Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New International Version


Sincerity– A Five-Minute Study

Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Contributed by Margaret Garner
Senior Associate, Worldwide Discipleship Association, Fayetteville, GA

March 1, 2005

​The Sincerity of Jesus Christ

James 5:12

but let your yea be yea: and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation (KJV*)

James, in this passage, writes that we should be sincere in what we say.  When we speak, as a follower of Jesus, there needs to be sincerity, integrity, in what we say.   We need to be known as a person who means what he says and says what he means, or what we say will carry no weight at all.  Worse than that, we will be known as a hypocrite, one who says one thing and means or does another.

John 14:6

Jesus said unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Jesus had a reputation as a “straight shooter,” one who speaks the truth regardless of the consequences.  Jesus said that he was the way.  Did he mean that?  He said that he was the only way.  Did he mean that?  Our faith in Him rests on what he said.  Did he always mean what he said?  Or are there other ways to the Father other than Jesus? Our faith is built on Jesus’ integrity and sincerity.  There really isn’t any other way to the Father, but through the Lamb of God, Jesus.

Does this mean that every word that came out of Jesus’ mouth was dry, instructive, and humorless?  I sure hope not.  I imagine that the illustration that Jesus gave about the camel passing through the eye of a needle had more than one of the disciples chuckling.  Or how about “straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel”?  Jesus was very interesting to listen to and drew great crowds, but there was no hypocrisy in what he said when compared to the way he lived his life.

Jesus was a sincere follower of the will of his Father.  That is what made him holy!  He lived a life separated from the way the hypocrites were living their lives.  And he told his disciples that they needed to live with the same sincerity in their lives that He lived in his life.

This example of Jesus brings us to the thoughtful question, “Are we following Jesus with sincerity, living our lives with sincerity, or do we live and talk one way on Sundays and a totally different way the rest of the week?”  Is our Christianity a religious affiliation or an all-encompassing lifestyle?  Over and over we see Jesus warning not the sinners, but the hypocrites of judgment to come!

It is time that many of us “get real” with the Lord and what our relationship really is with him.  Do you really have a desire to be like Jesus, or is it your hope that by professing Christianity, you can avoid hell? Do your times “with the guys” carry the same hallmark of your relationship with Jesus, as your conversations on Sunday morning?

Now is the best time to make a change in the way we live.  And remember that your decision to change and follow Jesus with your whole heart releases the power of the Holy Spirit to equip you to make the changes!  We are not alone; He is with us even unto the end of the world!

Here are five “I will” principles to practice in order to incorporate the character trait of sincerity into your life (write these on a poster, board or overhead transparency).

  • I will be all that I can be.
  • I will take responsibility for my own actions.
  • I will respect other’s opinions.
  • I will always mean what I say.
  • I will not take advantage of other people.

 Closing #1: Let’s dialog about it with one another.

  • Shift the group into small discussion groups of 3-4
  • Encourage groups to list the hindrances in their own lives to practicing sincerity in their families and with acquaintances.
  • Ask groups to share their feelings with the whole group.

 Closing #2: Let’s close in silent prayer, ask God:

  • To forgive you for things in your life that cause you to focus on yourself instead of the needs that are around you.
  • To show you how to practice sincerity in your life.
  • To make you aware of opportunities to grow in this character trait.

 * Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version


Sincerity– A Five-Minute Study

Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Contributed by Craig E. Beckley
Bible Teacher, Moores Hill, Indiana

March 2005

This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.