Thursday, July 30, 2015

Reliable Consciences

Chuckle: "The latest survey shows that three out of four people make up 75% of the population."
Good Quote: "The man who loses his conscience has nothing left that is worth keeping." --Izaak Walton
"They demonstrate that God's law is written within them, for their own consciences either accuse them or tell them they are doing what is right" (Romans 2:15 NLT). "Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are defiled" (Titus 1:15 NLT). "They pretend to be religious, but their consciences are dead" (1 Timothy 4:2 NLT).
Perhaps you have noticed that we don't have to teach a child to lie, cheat, and steal. It seems they already know how to do these things when they are born. No, we have to teach them what is right as they grow -- to be kind, caring, honest, and unselfish. As they are taught, their consciences become reliable moral compasses in their lives. If they are not trained to distinguish between right and wrong and to respect right over wrong, their undeveloped consciences will be of no value to them in life.
Obviously, our consciences can be trained. If we use God's Word as the basis for bringing up our children, they will know right and wrong from God's viewpoint. But if they are raised by parents whose own consciences were never trained by God's values, what can we expect from the children. Every day we hear of murders, robberies, rapes, assaults, corrupt business deals, and other crimes committed by people who show no remorse except for having been caught. Evidently, their consciences serve no useful purpose.
In our Romans passage, we see that "God's Word was written within them," and because this was true, their consciences were reliable to accuse them of wrong and to affirm their doing right. Each of us should pray to God for such a conscience. However, once we have a conscience that pleases God, we must listen to and heed our consciences or they will become increasingly less reliable.
"The conscience is like a sharp square peg in our hearts. If we are confronted by a questionable situation, that square begins to turn, and its corners cut into our hearts, warning us with an inward sensation against doing whatever confronts us. If the conscience is ignored time after time, the corners of the square are gradually worn down, and it virtually becomes a circle. When that circle turns within our hearts, there is no inner sensation of warning, and we are left without a conscience." --Unknown
It is not enough to know what is right; we must also do what is right if our consciences are to remain sensitive to God's standards of morality. In our 1 Timothy passage, we see false teachers who may appear to be religious, but whose consciences are dead and useless. Have you noticed that if you override your conscience and do something wrong, it becomes easier to do that wrong again and again. Your conscience gradually becomes seared and less of a factor in determining your behavior.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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