Can You Trust Your Conscience?

1 Timothy 1:18-19

God has given us a conscience so we can distinguish between what is morally right and wrong. It is His gift to help us avoid "shipwrecks" in our lives. Your conscience serves as a kind of spiritual radar; the condition that you keep it in will determine how well you can trust it.

The sacred conscience is one that has been kept spotless through confession of known sin (1 John 1:9) and reflects a desire to know and follow God's will. Once we are "cleansed," we can live without guilt, walking openly and transparently before the Lord. When we do sin, we know immediately that we need to get right with God.

The struggling conscience is clogged with rules and regulations, and its spirit of legalism makes us critical of our performance. Having created our own radar system of "should, ought, and must," we have used it to determine right or wrong. In so doing, we fail to understand God's righteousness, which can never be replaced by self-righteousness.

The soiled conscience is stained from harboring sin. If we consistently choose our way over God's, we lose sight of what is suitable and true. Excuses like "I can't help it" or "That's just who I am" add to a hazy inner compass and lack of peace.

A seared conscience is insensitive to sin. When we have continually resisted and ignored its warnings, such a conscience becomes numb to moral alarm.

Ask God to show you how well your internal compass is operating, and then allow the Holy Spirit to restore it.


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