Several years ago I went to the store to buy four small bricks I needed to complete a project in the backyard, nothing special, just four bricks. After considering the options, I decided on a charcoal black which cost a little more than the standard red brick. The store was busy with several long lines of shoppers intent on completing projects before the end of the day. I chose a line and waited my turn.
The lines moved slowly and there seemed to be an impatient tension all around. When it came my turn, the clerk quickly computed the price and took my money. As I received my change, I felt something was wrong. And as I stepped toward the door, I knew I had been charged a lower price.
My mind knew a mistake had been made, but my feet kept walking out the door and toward my car. I knew I should have revealed the mistake, but my mind raced into high gear justifying my inaction: “I don’t want to make others wait while the correction is made!” “The mistake is small – little more than the cost of a bar of candy.” “The profit from my other purchases during the year will certainly make up for this small loss.” It’s amazing how easy it was to find reasons to keep walking.
As I continued, my conscience began to counter my rationalization; and by the time I reached my car, that small inner voice was screaming at me to correct the error – and correct it NOW! I walked back into the store, waited in another long line, pointed to the error, and paid the extra money. My conscience hasn’t always been so sensitive – and I confess, it’s not always so sensitive now – but on this day it was, and I still praise God!
“I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.”
God has created us all with a conscience deep within our soul. At a very young age our conscience helps us maneuver the complex path of right and wrong. And when we place our trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of sin, we are given the Holy Spirit who ignites our conscience and guides us toward the presence of God and a life of holiness.
But when we ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit, our conscience slowly becomes burned. The burning usually begins small – a little lie, a small deception – but over time, our conscience can become “seared as with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:2). Then, when needed in a time of great temptation, there is no “inner voice” to keep us from falling. Our conscience is a precious gift, and it’s hard to believe I nearly damaged such a gift in exchange for a trivial amount of money.
Is your conscience sensitive to the prompting of the Spirit, or has it developed a hard crust which fails to point the way toward truth? Is there an issue in your life which requires ignoring your conscience and thus causing damage? Let’s live so that all areas of our life bring Him glory and honor. In ALL we do, let’s listen intently, obey completely, and protect God’s wonderful gift as we strive to maintain a clear conscience.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Oct 16 Jeremiah 28:1-29:32; 1 Timothy 1:1-20; Psalm 86:1-17; Proverbs 25:17