Sincere, sin meaning “without”, and cere meaning “wax.”

The Pots of Sincerity

What does it mean to be sincere?  Are we sincere in our relationship with God?

First let us consider what sincere means. The word “Sincere” comes from the Latin word sincere, sin meaning “without”, and cere meaning “wax.” You see, potteries back in the Roman Empire would inspect their pottery after finished for any cracks, and if any cracks were found the pots would be thrown away.

Other potters would take a cracked pottery and rub wax over the pottery in order to make it look nice and rich. These potters would go ahead and sell their pottery with the wax on it. And so potters with the sign sincerus on the door entrance meant that they sold pottery without wax.

And so I think this the idea of being “without wax” in our personal lives with God and with people is something that we should take into consideration. Love must be sincere…” -Romans 12:9


Selling Cracked Pots



The apostle Paul wrote, “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Tim. 1:5). A sincere faith is a faith that’s genuine.  It’s not fake.
The word sincere comes from two Latin terms sine and cere meaning “without wax.”  In those days, sometimes potters would accidentally crack their vessels they were making. If they were crooked, they would try to deceive the buyer by patching the crack with wax, painting over it, and then selling it.  After the people took the jar home and set it in the hot sun, the wax would melt and it would start leaking.
When honest potters cracked a jar they would throw it away.  When they made a pot in perfect condition they would stamp it “Sine Cere” —without wax.  They guaranteed that their jars didn’t have cracks in them and that they weren’t patched with wax. What the seller made was genuine. It wasn’t a fake.  

When Paul says he wants your faith to be sincere, he means having a faith without any cover-ups. What you see is what you get.  It’s not a patched-up fake.  Do people see a sincere faith in you?


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