SINCERITY A MATTER OF PROPER RELATION

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SINCERITY A MATTER OF PROPER RELATION

Topic |  
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cimagala-thumbby Fr. Roy Cimagala

THAT’S obvious, but since we always take it for granted and often forget our duties and responsibilities toward it, we need to be reminded, if only to achieve better appreciation for it, both in its theoretical and practical aspects.

Sincerity is relational since it always involves the proper engagement between us and the others, be they persons, things, events, situations, etc. And actually, in these relations, it is not just knowing involved, but also loving, so that the others are not only in us (knowing), but we also get to be in them, in the proper way (loving).

That’s just how the cookie crumbles in our life. We need to be in others, as well as the others need to be in us. We are meant for communion among ourselves. And this can happen if we give full and proper play to our knowing and loving, using our intelligence and will to reflect the inner dynamism of the life of God whose image and likeness we are.

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God is in an eternal process of knowing and loving, giving rise to the three persons of the Blessed Trinity, with the Father as the knower, the Son as the known, and the Holy Spirit as the love between the Father and the Son.

With this inmost dynamism of his eternal knowing and loving, God also gets to know and love everything else outside of himself. There is nothing that exists that is outside his knowledge and loving, though in varying degrees and ways.

We need to understand therefore that truthfulness can only start with our proper relationship with God. Other than that, our truthfulness, even in what we may consider as its best form, would always be suspect and vulnerable to elements that undermine the truth.

In short, we can only be truthful and sincere when we are with God who revealed himself in fullness insofar as we are concerned in his Son who became man, Jesus Christ.

Thus, Christ clearly said that he is “the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through him.” In other words, we can only be truthful through him. We can only find the proper way for whatever is good for us through him. We can only have the real life, proper to us, in him.

Christ said it very clearly. “Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the Evil One.” (Mt 5,37)

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Truthfulness therefore starts with our relationship with God, and with how well we maintain that relationship. This is something we have to realize more deeply, since very often we get contented with mere human criteria for truthfulness, that are often subjective, incomplete, imperfect, and vulnerable to be maneuvered and manipulated.

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When we are not with God, then we can very easily play around with the facts and data, and pass them around as truth, but serving some self-interest instead of the common good, for example.

This is a very common phenomenon. We make very tendentious, self-serving surveys. We make spins. We only show what we want to show, and hide what we don’t like to be known, not out of prudence or discretion, but more to serve selfish goals.

We justify such behaviour as a privilege of our freedom.

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But would that be freedom when one is plunging himself to the bondage of untruth and deception? Would that be freedom when it is exercised to violate the will of God who is the giver, the pattern and end of freedom?

Truth is these days we need nothing less than exorcism to rid ourselves of this predicament. But more than exorcism, what we need is to know how to be truthful and sincere every day, in both our big and small affairs.

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And this is a matter of actively looking for God, and making that contact as much as possible alive and vibrant all the time. It’s the only way to be truthful whether it is convenient or not, practical or not, advantageous or not.

It’s the only way we could be willing to suffer for the truth, if such situation comes. We would all be willing to suffer and to find meaning and even contentment in suffering. Being with God would equip with a wider perspective and deeper sense of how things are and ought to be.

Fear or shame would have no place in our life, except when required by prudence and discretion. We would be willing to say things as they are, that is, as God sees them, and put ourselves in the real world, not in a make-believe one.

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