“So whoever know the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17).
Ouch! How many times have you and I knowingly done things that we thought we should not do? The Spirit of God even spoke to our hearts and mind to make the right choice but we chose our way, and it was seldom by accident. The Bible calls this sin. Ouch again!
In 1 Corinthians 8:7, Paul teaches that a person can defile their conscience. Puritan Richard Sibbs wrote in the seventeenth century that, “the conscience is at the heart of what distinguishes the human creation. People, unlike animals, can contemplate their own actions and make moral self-evaluations. The conscience leads you to do what you believe is right and restrains you from what you believe is wrong.”
The conscience is not the voice of God. It is a part of us that God gave to you and me to filter our actions and thoughts. It is by the standard we know.
So what is your standard? What do you use to measure right and wrong in your life? If your standard measures up better than your neighbor, your siblings, your spouse, you may think that you are doing good in the eyes of God. What if you measured yourself to God? When Isaiah saw God in the book of Isaiah 6:5, he said, “Woe is me! I am a sinful man…” Since Isaiah had seen God and all His righteousness, he measured his life against God and saw how sinful he was.
It is so easy to compare and learn our standards of living from those around us. I am so thankful that God has given us His living Word that we might put the right data in our consciences. We have His Word to filter our thoughts and actions. Take time today to delete those things in your mind and in your heart that are defiling you. I do not want to say “Ouch” every day, and I am sure you do not either. Your words need to be saturated with the words of God. Make your choices and actions honor God all the time.
What is your conscience telling you?