The English word “sincere” comes from the Latin “sincerus”, which is derived from the words sine and cereus; meaning “without” and “wax”.

I’ve read that when working with wood, many carpenters of long ago would use wax to hide their mistakes or imperfections in the wood. Eventually, when an item of furniture or a carving was finished, it would be stained or polished and the wax would then become indistinguishable. Later on, however, after a little usage and being subject to the elements, the wax would melt or crumble away and the ‘cover-up’ would become apparent.

The more professional wood workers of the day, however, chose only the finest wood and they worked with extreme care so as not to cause any damage. Of course, this was far more costly in terms of both time and money and so when they went to market place to compete and sell their wares, they would put up a sign that said, “sincerus”.

This is really the key to true success: In all your dealings be a person of integrity, and whatever you promise or say or do, be sincere and do it ‘without wax’!

Analogy adapted from a narrative by Zig Ziglar