His remedy for a good night’s sleep was easier said than done. I was his pastor, and he was one of the godliest men I’d ever met.
One day our conversation turned to sleep—and specifically my trouble doing so. Even though many elderly have trouble sleeping, he wasn’t one of them. He did take a Benadryl before he retired for the night, but this was for his allergies—not a sleeping aid. When I asked what his key for restful nights was, he said, “I go to bed with a clear conscience.”
Knowing him as I did, I had no trouble believing that. He continually performed kind deeds, his speech was uplifting and clean, and he made an honest living by tending to a small farm while drawing his retirement.
Whoever the writer was, his conscience was clear also. Many others may have been preaching and teaching a corrupt gospel, but not him. Others many have felt guilt over past mistakes; he didn’t. He simply wanted prayer support from his fellow Christians.
My conscience hasn’t always been clear. During my periods of rebellion against God’s will and commands, it bothered me tremendously. God was trying to get my attention. But when I finally confessed my orneriness and straightened things out between me and God, it occasionally still bothered me. No longer was it God pricking my conscience; now it was Satan. He wanted to keep me in chains to what God had freed me from: the penalty of my sins which were now confessed.
From God’s perspective, confession and repentance cleanse my conscience. Satan would love nothing more than for me to believe I’ve been too bad for God to forgive—but I haven’t…and neither have you.
Based on what Christ has done—and my acceptance of his gift, I can live with a clear conscience. Knowing I’m on good terms with God frees me from worry, anxiety, and feelings of false guilt.
If you’re conscience isn’t clear, ask God why.
Prayer: Father, we thank You that because of what Christ has done we can live with clear consciences.
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