The Truth... What is it?

The Human Conscience...What is it?

Do you have a clear conscience?


Man is "fallen" and innately bad [a few of worst examples]

The Apostle Paul writes, "I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men." (Acts 24:16)

Our conscience is the God-given moral capacity enabling us to distinguish between right and wrong. So, should our conscience be our guide?

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 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 mind!

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. 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 life).

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 commitment).

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.



posted 25 Sept. 1999 [1st addition 1/10/2000]