July 18 I Thursday
“I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” —Psalm 119:10-11
Conscience is a wonderful and powerful tool. Similar to a siren to our soul, our conscience is a built-in sense of knowing what is right and wrong because God has placed it in our hearts. This alarm system acts as a natural moral law inherent in us that is not superimposed, but enables us to stay on track.
It is God’s character that creates the moral law of the universe, and He has instilled in each of us a conscience that reveals His character. Paul tells us, “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them” (Romans 2:14-15).
As there exists a natural moral law that is not arbitrarily imposed, but is universal to the human race, there also exist implications inherent to it. While we may feel free to modify or break the law, the reality is, if we break it, in the course of time, the law will break us. We may overlook what we know is right and opt for what is wrong as we rationalize our actions in light of a greater good. But when it comes to sin, there are no rationalizations we can make that will be acceptable to God.
To guard against sin, Paul encourages Timothy “[to hold] on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith” (1 Timothy 1:19). Our consciences are like the watertight hull of a ship. If the hull springs a leak, it may not be noticed at first but when the leak gets
bigger and bigger, the water pours in until the ship is capsized and becomes a shipwreck.
If we allow ourselves to do little things that violate our consciences, we create a leak that will likely result in shipwreck, because we can be sure that our tolerance of a small sin will escalate to a bigger one. We know we have damaged our conscience when we find it easier to sin this time than the last time. We are faced with this decision daily whether to reject our good conscience
and shipwreck our faith, or reinforce our faith by heeding that siren in our soul.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for giving me a good conscience, a built-in siren to my soul. Keep me alert at all times and help me to do what is right.