Outward appearance

I watched my nephew unwrap a candy bar, then immediately throw it away uneaten. It was infested with bugs!

The Lord doesn’t need to remove the wrapper around our hearts to know what’s inside (John 2:24-25).

Jesus directed His harshest words at the Pharisees: “For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27, emphasis added).

How much easier to care more about looking good than being righteous!

As our preacher Joel Shelton says, “God hates fake!”

Inward integrity

In contrast, Jesus could say of Nathanael, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” (John 1:47).

Nathanael was the real-deal—from the inside out.


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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“What You See is What You Get”


Authentic vs. Fake

Someone who is transparent is “free from pretense or deceit” (

Nathaniel was transparent. Jesus assessed him as “an Israelite indeed in whom is no deceit!” (John 1:47).

Ironically, the expression “see through someone” is the very opposite of “transparent.”

No one ever fooled Jesus (John 2:24-25). He could see right through pretenders (Matthew 23:27-28).

Sincerity Plus….

Sincerity alone is not sufficient. Saul of Tarsus persecuted the church in all good conscience (Acts 23:1; 1 Timothy 1:12-13).

And yet sincerity is an absolute essential if we are to please God. Sincerity plus truth is the winning combination!

Because Saul was sincere, he repented when he learned the truth.

Only then could God use him.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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