In construction, the term "façade" typically refers to the outward appearance of a building, particularly the front. Often, the façade is a false representation of the rest of the building. The front wall, for example, may appear to be Victorian in style while the rest of the building is of a more modern architectural design. In this case, the façade is used primarily for the sake of portraying an outward appearance, but it is inconsistent with what lies behind it.

Façades can be useful in terms of construction design, but when a person exhibits a false façade, the consequences are dire. People who present an outward appearance that is inconsistent with who they are in reality are usually described as hypocrites.

In contrast to a hypocrite is a sincere person. There are no false faces or façades with someone who is sincere; what you see is what you get. If you are a sincere person, you never resort to deception. Instead, you are always up front and truthful.

The English word “sincere” is rooted in the Greek sinceros, which was a term used in pottery. After a potter had shaped a pot out of clay, he would then place it in the kiln to bake. If there were any flaws in the clay—or if the potter used an inferior mix in an attempt to save money—the pot would crack. The potter could then fill the crack with wax in order to disguise the defect, making it virtually undetectable until the purchaser poured hot liquid into the pot.

A pot that made it through the kiln without cracking, though, was said to be sinceros, meaning “without wax.” It would be of one substance with no hidden flaws or deceptions.

A related word in Latin is integritas, from which comes the word “integrity.” This word implies a oneness or completeness. As the word “integer” refers to a whole number, the word “integrity” refers to a person who is whole. Such a person possesses no duplicity or division within.

Too many people go through life attempting to convince others that they are something they are not. The outward appearance of your life, however, should reflect the inner reality of integrity, character, faith, and hope. After all, it is what's on the inside that really matters. "For man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7, KJV)

My book Women Under Construction is all about building a complete "life house". In it, I describe how every part of your life house must be an integrated whole. From the foundation to the cornerstone to the walls, every part must fit together perfectly. Only then can the house prevail through the storms that may besiege it.

If you want to be known as a person who is sincere—as someone of integrity—it is essential that your life house be more than just a façade. Instead, you must be open, unpretentious, and worthy of trust. Be honest about your shortcomings and take steps to rectify them, all the while trusting God to strengthen you and transform you from the inside out.

 


Comments

Venera Gallo
01/04/2012 11:08pm

We live in a society of smoke and mirrors, don't we? Commercials depict athletes drinking sugary sodas and suggest that owning a certain car will make you more desirable. The list could go on and on.

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kris
01/05/2012 8:21pm

Interesting to hear of the origin of words, and their meanings. Thanks for sharing that Tifphanie.

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