Conscience...What is it?
have a clear conscience?
Man is "fallen" and
innately bad [a few of worst
The Apostle Paul writes, "I also do my best to
maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men." (Acts
Our conscience is the God-given moral capacity
enabling us to distinguish between right and wrong. So, should our conscience be our
Well it depends on whether your conscience is
thinking straight. How is your conscience programmed? If it is programmed by the world, you
can not trust your conscience. A worldly conscience will lie to you and allow you to freely
commit acts that you may even know are against God's will.
But a conscience programmed (or reprogrammed) by
the Holy Spirit and by God's Word can be trusted.
God did not give each of us a conscience to
prevent us from having a good time or fun or to ruin our joy. On the
contrary, God gave us a conscience to prevent us from sin, because sin never
satisfies a person deeply or completely. God gave us a conscience to protect us from oncoming
danger or consequences we might have to face as a result of our wrong actions. Therefore Paul
said that he aimed to keep his conscience blameless.
In order to have a blameless conscience, you must
program it...or it must have been programmed...in a Godly way. As a child, will there be
Mothers and Daddies, grandparents, neighbors, family friends, church and Sunday school
friends, radio programs, TV programs, video tapes, teachers and group activity leaders
pouring in morally right thinking patterns (as with computers...garbage in,
garbage out) deriving somehow, somewhere out of The Word of God? What is being poured in
during your youthful years? How about the young adult, young-married years?
You might say: "Well, when I'm through raising a
little hell and being wild and crazy, I'll settle down and reprogram." If all along, wrong
stuff is poured into the programming, what makes you think that you will be able make the
change in time? You'll marry a mate using the old programming; the kids come, and now you
become interested in "raising them right". You'll do it by the old
programming. My friend, don't fall for the whispers in your mind that urge you to delay
"programming changes". Commit NOW to change what is going into your
The sin problem is like the oil-changing problem
with automobiles: "pay me now or pay me later!" The longer you delay the change of "what is
going in", the more years it will take you to clean up the mess you've made by the time you
decide to change. Sin...by way of wrong programming...can be dealt with on the front end
(prevented by early, right programming) or on the back end (cleaning up the mess of a broken
For front-end prevention, you need to be a Holy
Spirit indwelt Jesus believer; & you need God's Word going into your mind in big
doses....from your reading, from the preachers sermons, from Bible study courses and tapes,
from Sunday school teachings, and from being around Christian friends and relatives. You need
to immerse yourself in Jesus' teachings. You won't want to give up the friends you already
have. But, their "programming input" will overwhelm your new sources of "reprogramming input"
until the programming tide has had a significant amount of time to cause change. Don't
necessarily cut the old friends off, just reduce the time and intensity with them and
increase it with the "new input". If you are courageous, let them know that you are changing
direction; and you might invite them to join you (if they are willing to make a strong
As you do this, your conscience becomes
clear and blameless...both before God and man!
after In Touch magazine, Charles Stanley, Sept.
1999, page 34.
Sept. 1999 [1st addition 1/10/2000]