In every sense, we can say that our conscience is much more important than we think. In fact, one of the challenges within our human development is that we are seldom taught to consider our conscience at all.
I want to intentionally make a big deal about our conscience because I consider it to be one of our highest treasures. How so? We've all seen the cartoons that portray the person trying to decide if they should be bad or good along with the angel sitting on one shoulder and the devil on the other. Actually, this scenario represents each of us and the inner turmoil of trying to choose which path to take exposes the war between rebellious temptations and the awareness of doing what is right. What is rarely clarified in this popular presentation is how the angel represents God's perfect truth and though everyone can have a basic comprehension of right and wrong, it is difficult to understand God's voice especially if an individual has not personally accepted Christ into their life as Lord and Savior. As pain sensors tell our brain that something is wrong in our body, the conscience also works with the Holy Spirit as a security system that reminds God's children when they have sinned and warns them if they are even contemplating about being bad.
I have often mentioned how important it is to cultivate and maintain our thoughts. The mind is not only the area of all our ideas and intentions but is the battlefield where we are constantly making critical decisions. To not be concerned about incorporating mental discipline and allowing God to help us renew our mind, we are ignoring one of the most crucial responsibilities in this life. George Bernard Shaw is quoted, "A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me, there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, the one I feed the most." Obeying God is the beauty of a clear conscience.
In a fallen world that is filled with distractions, we realize that a clear conscience is associated with spiritual peace and contentment. Carl Jung is quoted as saying, "Through pride, we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience, a still small voice says to us, something is out of tune." The world's motto declares how they cannot obtain satisfaction and within this default disposition, we find that no class of society is immune from this reality. When wrong ideas are planted, wrong attitudes are easily developed such as the idea that the more possessions a person gathers, the more contentment we will have. Nothing could be further from the truth. So how can we be set free from the misery of a deceived and calloused conscience? We can ask God to save us from ourselves. "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God" Hebrews 9:14.
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