Growing in Virtue: Sincerity

Do you really want to tell someone they look ugly if that is what you sincerely think when they ask you: “How do I look?” Or tell them that they talk too much when they keep going on and on about themselves? Some times we have the dilemma, “I have to tell the truth, but …” There is a middle ground. Sincerity helps us to be truthful and not deceiving, but at the same time not to be brutally honest either.

Wait, but if I don’t say or do what comes natural to me, then how am I being sincere? I am lying to the person.

Don’t forget that the key to virtue, as mentioned, is always love. All virtues, and the acts that we live out in the name of virtue, must be founded and rooted in charity. We have to be natural. At the same time we don’t want to cross over to being completely barbaric, insensitive, and unruly with our comments. It is good to ask three questions before you are about to do or say something, as a way to help you live the virtue of sincerity. These three questions can be our “relationship/life savers”.

1.    Is what I am about to say true?
2.    Is it good for someone?
3.    Is it necessary?

You might want to tell someone that they should change what they are wearing, because it is true and necessary so people don’t laugh at them. But is there a way that you can say it that is good for them? Stop and think about it, let yourself be moved by charity in the way you say it.

We also have to have in mind that there are some things that should always be said in private. You can let someone know what they are doing is wrong if it is true, good for them and necessary so they stop making big mistakes in their lives. But should it be done in front of other people? No, we have to be discrete in our sincerity. And if you have a doubt, always ask yourself how you would want someone to tell you what you are about to say to the other.