In the King James Version the word translated “unfeigned” comes from the Greek word anupokritos, meaning “undisguised, sincere.” Therefore, when something is unfeigned it is out in the open for all to see. It is not disguised nor is there any attempt to keep it hidden. This word is used on a half dozen occasions in the New Testament and it is applied to various attributes of Christianity. Consider three things that are to be unfeigned in the life of the Christian.
Unfeigned faith. Paul wrote to Timothy, “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1 Tim. 1:5). One of the attributes the Christian is required to have is faith. But that faith is not to be something that is hidden or unknown. Rather, our faith in God and confidence in his word is to be exhibited in everything that we do. There should never be a time when the Christian leaves room for doubt in the minds of men as to where his faith is placed and the depth of it.
This was the kind of faith Timothy had, and he learned it from his mother and grandmother (2 Tim. 1:5). When decisions need to be made, when struggles come our way, when frustrations are set before us, when opportunities arise, do we exhibit an unfeigned faith by imparting and acknowledging where we get the answers for those situations and why they are the right answers? Christians must ensure they are teaching those of this generation and the next generation an open faith, not a hidden faith.
Unfeigned love. Peter admonished his audience by stating, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (1 Pet. 1:22). Our love for one another as brethren in Christ should never be in question. It should be exemplified in every interaction that we have with one another.
There are some brethren who exhibit a form of love that leaves people remembering the old statement, “With friends like these, who needs enemies?” Our love for one another should be presented after a manner that leaves no doubt of our care, concern, and appreciation for our fellow Christian. Even in times where we disagree or are at odds, one should apply the comportment that leaves no doubt of the love and desire to look out for the welfare of the other brother. John wrote of the impossibility of man having the proper love for God if he does not exhibit the same love for his brother (1 John 4:7-8, 20-21).
Unfeigned wisdom. James imparted these words of inspiration, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (Jam. 3:17). Though it is not translated “unfeigned” in this passage, the same Greek word is used here as in the other passages considered; except here it is translated “without hypocrisy.”
In the context of verse 17, James is considering the presentation of wisdom. If the Christian is to present godly wisdom as is commanded, it cannot be done sporadically or with malice. Instead it has to be done openly and consistently, without hypocrisy. One cannot present the wisdom of God without first presenting it in their own actions, then in their advice to others. Some Christians have tainted their ability to use God’s wisdom by being unwilling to implement it in their own lives, but then trying to bind it upon others. This does not mean that one has to be perfect to present godly wisdom, only that one cannot be living a life of contradiction to the wisdom they are presenting and still be considered a reliable source for God’s words. The adage, “Do as I say and not as I do,” will not work for the dispersal of wisdom from God. For it to be viable it must first be lived, then shared.
There are some things in the life of the Christian that are to be internal and private matters between him and God, but these three are not among them. They are to be open and evident before all. They are to be seen and imparted in every aspect of our lives and service to God. Are you living an unfeigned life before God and man?