Living in Good Conscience
And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.Acts 23:1
God has gifted us with a valuable inward sensibility that warns, and when properly adhered to, restrains us from doing wrong. That inward sensibility or emotion is our conscience.
A Strong Inward Guide
Our conscience is a strong inward guide when we are young and sensitive. Yet, as we grow older, our tendency is to grieve or smother our conscience by avoiding its warning to restrain from doing wrong. As Scripture says, we can vex our righteous souls by listening to and adhering to the evil ways of society.
Consequences of Ignoring
In the Old Testament we learn about a man named Lot. He vexed his soul and eventually lost his entire family with the exception of two daughters. Yet, those two daughters were heavily influenced by their father’s decision to expose them to the evils of Sodom and Gomorrah. That exposure led to serious consequences.
Sodom and Gomorrah were wicked cities. The citizens ignored their consciences and gave themselves “over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (See Jude 7.)
Due to their rejection of God and their gross immorality these cities were judged and completely destroyed. At some point, the citizens obviously chose to ignore their consciences and follow their fleshly desires.
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and their citizens gives a strong warning of what can happen if we choose to ignore our consciences and live ungodly. As we continue to smother that inward perception of what is right and what is wrong, our lives begin a downward path toward destruction.
Our Conscience Is a Gift
Our consciences are a gift from God that will help to steer us in a right path until we find salvation in Jesus Christ. Then the Holy Spirit will guide us in truth and wisdom.
Paul was able to say that he had lived “in all good conscience” as he stood before the chief priests and their council members. The Roman centurion commented that he found nothing “worthy of death or of bonds” for which to hold Paul. Even the chief priests were not able to prove any offense that Paul may have committed.
When standing before the governor Paul remarked:
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men.Acts 24:16
Paul’s example of living in good conscience is a worthy example for us to follow. May we be able to say the same before any of our accusers.
Lord, make my conscience sensitive toward You this day. May I listen and take heed to your small nudges.
Forgive me when I neglect Your guidance and fail to respond properly. Your path is always the right path that leads me to the proper outcome.
Keep me tender hearted and make me more like Christ each day.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2019 by Peggy Clark