Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,
Ephesians 6:14 (NASB)
Sincerity, or truth of heart, can be compared to a girdle in the light of the dual purpose of a soldier’s belt.
Here at the loins the pieces of armor which defend the lower parts of the body are connected to the upper ones. And because it is impossible for these to be perfectly knit together there will be some gaping open between the pieces. Thus a broad girdle is used to cover all the unattractiveness.
Sincerity does the same work for the Christian. The saint’s graces are not so uniform, nor his life so perfect, that there are no defects and weaknesses in his warfare. But sincerity covers them all so they cannot expose him to shame or leave him vulnerable to danger.
Sincerity is the strength of every grace. The more hypocrisy in our graces, the weaker they are. It is sincere faith which is the strong faith, sincere love which is the mighty love. But hypocrisy is to grace as the worm is to the oak– or as rust is to iron– it weakens because it corrupts.
This kind of uprightness is like a wildflower which can grow in the waste places of nature. It may demonstrate a measure of truth in its actions, yet it does not have a single fiber of sanctifying, saving grace. For example, God Himself came in as a witness for Abimelech after he had taken Sarah: “I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart” (Genesis 20:6)— that is, he intended no wrong toward Abraham since he did not know Sarah was his wife.
While this moral honesty motivates a man to be kind in his relationships, the Lord’s counsel has not changed since He directed it to Samuel: “Look not on his countenance… for the Lord sees not as man sees” (1 Samuel 16:7).