Without Wax

by | Jun 9, 2024 | 2024, Musings | 0 comments

This week a friend reminded me about a very cool verse in Psalm 78. It is verse 72 which says, “And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.”  The author, Asaph (a leader and chief musician in Israel) recognized that shepherding people is a difficult and often messy proposition. It is demanding.

He also recognized that it takes two distinct kinds of leadership qualities. The first we expect. Leaders need to be skillful in their area of expertise. They need to know what they are doing.

But the second quality is often missing in the biography of modern leaders. Too often they lack character, they aren’t people with integrity of heart. Instead of being open, vulnerable, transparent and willing to be scrutinized, way too many of our leaders hide behind booming voices and sketchy resumes.

And above all else, these men and women prioritize “faking it.” They learn to “cover their tracks” well and make it hard for people to see any foibles or failures.

I love word derivations and one fits here very well. Did you know that when an ancient sculpturer was working on a statue and nicked it a bit, the alteration was covered up by smearing hot wax into the cracks of the stone. The faker would then add some stone dust and to the casual eye, the statue would look first rate. The adding of the wax concealed the flaws of the artist, and the artwork could be passed on as a high-quality work.

The Latin term for not using wax in that manner, was “sine cera” which literally means “without wax.” As time went on, we began signing our letters, “Sincerely yours.”  Such a salutation conveyed the idea of integrity. It was a way of saying, “This is true. You can trust it. It is without wax.”

This week is a great opportunity for each of us to check our own “statue,” (character, reputation, our standing in the community). Let’s take a good, long look and make sure there isn’t any wax covering up any imperfections. Our lives need to have an element of transparency that allows for an honest description of our failings.

We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23). When (not if) we sin, we need to quickly own up to our error. Repent, confess and with a great deal of SINCERETY (without wax) move on in a life spent serving others.



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