Friday, June 9, 2023

A Violated Conscience - Martin Wiles

A violated conscience
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 knew what a violated conscience was, I experienced what happened when I did it.

Long before my parents 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 said, “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. I always felt terrible if I lied about something that happened at school when my parents questioned me.

Early in my childhood, Mom and Dad taught me this voice was called my conscience. If a psychologist examined my brain, he would fail to pinpoint it, but it’s there, nevertheless.

Daniel was a teenager when foreign invaders captured his homeland. At around eighty, he was exalted by a succeeding king who gave him a position of honor. The new king was then tricked into signing a bad law by men jealous of Daniel. When Daniel violated the ungodly law, the envious crowd turned him in. Although the king had Daniel thrown into the lion’s den, he found himself in his own lion’s den. His conscience stalked 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. I can trust if I’ve programmed it with teachings from God’s Word. But I can't if I’ve pummeled it with lies and ungodly material.

Even though a doctor can’t locate my conscience, I know it exists. God created it as an invisible part of our makeup. He works through it by the presence of His Spirit. When we violate His guidelines, He uses it to let us know. When we’re sensitive to our consciences, we’ll quickly repent when we violate it or, better yet, listen before we’ve done or thought something we’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 can hear clearly when it guides us. 

Tweetable: Have you violated your conscience? 

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