How to get rid of the wax in your relationships …

In ancient Rome, sculpting was a popular profession. The culture flourished with statues, as nearly every public and private building had numerous false gods represented. The market was flooded with sculptors, so quality was sometimes lacking. Less qualified craftsmen would cover their errors with wax, and frequently the customer could not see the flaw. To compensate for this practice, authentic sculptors would mark their statues with the words “sine cera” — “without wax.”

The sculptor who cared less about his art than making a quick buck was insincere about his craft. We see the same kind of insincerity today in our relationships. People want to have a lot of friends, so they make many connections they call “friendships.” But many of those connections are cheap knock-offs to real friendship, there’s a lot of “wax” added to them.

One way we add a great deal of insincerity to our relationships is by asking too much, acting too little, and lacking in prayer. Let me explain.

We’ve developed a culture where we think just asking friends who are struggling or going through hard times about how they are doing is actually acting, actually doing something for them.

But it isn’t.

Certainly it’s kind to express your care and support, but what I have observed in the lives of many suffering people is that there are many people in their lives who spend a lot of time asking how they are, but failing to actually do anything to help them.

“How are you?”

“How are you doing today?”

“How is everything?”

“Are you doing okay?”

They may even ask their friends what they need, or if they have all they need, but they don’t respond to the answer. They just keep asking, and asking, and asking, and asking, and asking …

But they do nothing beyond asking.

What is sincere about that kind of “friendship”?

If you want to take the wax out of your relationships, here’s a simple little formula to apply to your life:

In order to determine whether or not someone in your life is in need, you only need to ask once. After knowing they are struggling and in need, the issue then is whether or not you’re going to act. Some people don’t have the resources to help, or to help much, but most of us can do more than what we actually do.
If you sincerely care about the hurting and struggling people in your life, stop asking the same thing so much, and DECIDE WHAT ACTION YOU’RE WILLING TO TAKE. It’s not a matter of needing to know all the needs in someone else’s life, it’s a matter of knowing what YOU are capable of doing, and then deciding just how much YOU are willing to do on behalf of others. Then ACT! 
Ask less, act more …
And don’t forget to be praying constantly. Don’t focus your prayers on what you think is the prescription for your friend’s needs, but seek the wisdom and will of God for the needs of others. That will help you to have less need to ask anything, provide you with better direction on how to act, and will follow God’s lead and empowerment in serving others.
Have you been packing your relationships full of wax? Why not fix that by getting sincere about the relationships in your life by asking less, taking real action, and relying on prayer to guide you?