Can You Trust Your Conscience?


This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

1 Timothy 1:18-19

To enable us to distinguish between what is morally right and wrong, God has given us a conscience. It is His gift to help us avoid shipwreck in our lives. Your conscience serves as a kind of spiritual radar; the condition you keep it in will determine how much you can trust it.

The sacred conscience is one that has been kept spotless through confession of sin (1 John 1:9) and reflects a desire to know and follow God’s will. Once we are cleansed, we can live without guilt, walking openly and transparently before the Lord. When we do sin, we know immediately that we need to get right with God.

The struggling conscience is clogged with rules and regulations, and its spirit of legalism makes us critical of our performance. Having created our own radar system of “should, ought, and must,” we’ve used it to determine right or wrong. In doing so, we fail to understand God’s righteousness, which can never be replaced with self-righteousness.

The soiled conscience is stained from harboring sin. If we consistently choose our way over God’s, we lose sight of what’s suitable and true. Excuses like “I can’t help it” add to our lack of peace and the unreliability of our inner compass.

The seared conscience is insensitive to sin. When we continually resist and ignore its warnings, such a conscience will, over time, become numb to moral alarm.

Ask God to show you how well your internal conscience is operating, and then allow Him to restore it.

Charles Stanley

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