Monday, February 1, 2016

Violated Conscience - Martin Wiles

Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night. Daniel 6:18 NLT

Before I ever knew its name, I experienced what happens when it’s violated: misery. 

Long before Mom and Dad ever told me I wasn’t supposed to talk back to them, I felt a nagging sense of guilt when I did. When my eyes wandered onto a classmate’s test paper, a little voice in my head would say, “Don’t do that.” 

During my teenage years when I told my parents I hated them under my breath, a sense of shame arose in my gut. If I lied about something that happened at school when my parents questioned me, I always felt bad. Early in my childhood, Mom and Dad taught me this voice was called my conscience. If my brain was examined by a psychologist, he wouldn’t be able to pinpoint it, but it’s there nevertheless. 

Daniel was a mere teenager when he was taken captive by foreign invaders. Now around 80 years of age, he is exalted by a succeeding king who gives him a position of honor. The new king is then tricked into signing a bad law by men who are jealous of Daniel. 

When Daniel violates the ungodly law, the jealous crowd turns him in. Though the king has Daniel thrown into the lion’s den, he finds himself in his own lion’s den. His conscience stalks him all night.

“Let your conscience be your guide” is an old idiom, the truth of which depends on what I’ve done with my conscience through the years. If I’ve programmed it with teachings from God’s Word, then I can trust it. If I’ve pummeled it with lies and ungodly material, then I can’t. 

Though a doctor can’t locate my conscience, I know it exists. God created it as an invisible part of my makeup. He works through it by the presence of His Spirit. When I violate His guidelines, He uses it to let me know. When I’m sensitive to my conscience, I’ll quickly repent when I violate it or, better yet, listen before I’ve done or thought something I’ll have to repent of. 

Can you let your conscience be your guide?

Prayer: Father, help us program our consciences with Your teachings so we’ll be able to hear clearly when it guides us.

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