Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

February 28, 2015

                                                                              Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

To say to someone, “You are just a burden to society,” would be offensive. The truth is, however, that our society is more and more burdened with people who have a weak moral conscience. This article was written to help you see the need of strengthening your moral conscience.

The Bible makes mention of our need of a good conscience. What is a good conscience? I Timothy 1:5 says, “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.”

Our conscience is meant to be an inner faculty that governs our conduct. It is that inner voice that approves or disapproves of what we are thinking of doing. Therefore, it is extremely important that it function right. We might compare it to the automatic pilot on an airplane. If it is programed right, it will take the plane to where the pilot wants to go. Meanwhile he can be doing other things. If it isn’t programed right, it may take him somewhere where he doesn’t want to be. He might find himself a long way from an airport with a short supply of fuel.

Your conscience needs to be properly programed to function right. When it is rightly programed it will greatly simplify your life. It will make decisions for you. To rightly program your conscience, you need to have convictions about right and wrong. When a pilot programs his auto pilot, he checks his charts to see how many degrees to the right or left he needs to go to arrive at his destination. We need to set our course by means of the Bible. That is where we get our convictions about right and wrong.

Convictions are firm beliefs about something. If we have convictions about not doing something, we don’t need to debate about it every time the temptation presents itself. That greatly simplifies our life. Our conscience makes that decision for us. Our mind can be occupied in other things.

When I was a young man there was a hit song on the radio that said, “Let your conscience be your guide. Don’t do things you’ll have to hide.” That’s all I remember of it. If our conscience isn’t properly programed, it can’t guide us the way it should. In our day, we are often told that there are no fixed moral laws. If we buy into that theory, our conscience will be hindered in guiding us.

Some years ago a bad theory was dumped on our society. Many people accepted it. It was called “situation ethics.” The theory said that the situation determines whether something is good or bad. That leaves us in a sea of uncertainty. That leaves our conscience without any fixed laws by which to operate. The truth is that what is moral or immoral doesn’t change. What was morally wrong for your parents and grandparents is still wrong for you.

The conscience of a child is programed, in great part, by the conscience of his or her parents. When the child goes to school he is exposed to some new moral principles. He may or may not accept them, but they tend to weaken his convictions. As he goes on in life, his convictions are formed. His convictions may be that there are no fixed moral principles. If so, he will never have a good conscience. A good conscience is one that functions well because its decisions are based on absolute moral convictions. If not, our conscience can’t convict us the way John 8:9 says it should. “ And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.”

Teenager, you are in danger if you have a weak conscience. I Corinthians 8:7 says your conscience is in danger of being defiled. “Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.” In the context of this verse, the conscience is weak because of the fear of offending an idol. Teens today often make decisions based on how their peers will accept them. That is called “peer pressure.” Many are lured into the drug culture because of the fear of being called a chicken. If your conscience is programed to say “no” to drugs, it won’t matter what your friends think of you when you say no to drugs.

If we really love and respect God, our conscience will reflect what God says. I Peter 2:19 makes mention of a conscience toward God. “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.”   The epistle of I Peter was written to prepare God’s people to endure the suffering of persecution. Those who have a conscience toward God will do his will, even if they have to suffer for it. I Peter 3:16 says a good conscience doesn’t change even when people speak evil of us. “Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.”

Young man, young lady, your future depends, in great measure, on how your conscience is programed. Program it with strong convictions about right and wrong. If you do, the time will come when you will be glad you did what your conscience told you to do or not to do.

If you have questions or comments they can be sent to us at the following address: rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net




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