But then David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe. 1 Samuel 24:5 NLT
My conscience spoke … but I didn’t listen.
My conscience had been programmed with the right stuff. Mom and Dad made sure of that. They took me to church every time the doors opened. I heard Daddy preach the Bible, and I listened as teachers told me Bible stories. At home, my rules mimicked God’s commands, and discipline followed if I didn’t adhere to them. I also experienced the positive side of God’s commands as I enjoyed love from my family that parroted God’s love.
Then I became a teenager, and things changed. I didn’t enjoy the rules anymore. And suddenly, Mom and Dad seemed overbearing. I wanted to get away … to do my own thing. Having friends who felt the same way didn’t help. Bad company can corrupt good morals. I didn’t stand for the right but reveled in the wrong.
As I enjoyed my bad behavior, my conscience bothered me. I knew my behavior was wrong and displeased my parents, my teachers at church—and God. At the moment, I didn’t care.
Eventually, my conscience got the better of me. I confessed, repented, and turned back to the way I knew was right. This soothed my conscience and made life more pleasant.
Like me, David listened to his conscience. David served as a warrior in King Saul’s army, but God had also chosen him as the next king. The prophet Samuel had anointed him as such when he was only a shepherd boy herding his father’s sheep. As David’s military conquests increased, so did Saul’s jealousy. Now, David ran, and Saul hunted him.
As Saul entered a cave to use the bathroom—a cave David and his army hid in—David crept up behind him and cut off a small portion of his robe. That’s when his conscience kicked in. Even though Saul reigned as a cruel and ungodly king, God had commanded that the people support the king. David apologized to Saul.
Our conscience makes up a part of humanity. God works to help us know the difference between right and wrong. When we choose the wrong, God convicts us. If we don’t listen, the conviction—and discipline—grows. Years of rejection can lead to a seared conscience. One where doing wrong doesn’t bother us anymore. A dangerous place.
The right response to God’s conviction is repentance and confession. When we do this, things between us and God are righted again. He can use us in His Kingdom’s work, and we will once again enjoy life.
Our conscience can be our guide only when we have programmed it with God’s commands and principles. Why not do that so your conscience can guide you properly.
Prayer: Father, give us the courage to program our consciences with the right things.
Tweetable: Do you have a captive conscience?
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