Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Conscience Conscious”

     God bless you, brethren.  My question today is how important is it to have a clear conscience?  I have the tendency to be a critic, especially of myself.  Even when I do something right. I often replay it in my head and feel like I could've done it better.  I find it hard to be satisfied and pleased with the amount of love I show people, the sharing of the gospel (or lack thereof), my thoughts, my devotional life, the amount of time I spend in prayer and in the Word, etc….

Critical Thinker

Dear Critical Thinker,

There is a difference between being dissatisfied with past choices and having conscience problems.  The word ‘conscience’ refers to that part of your mind that prompts you to do what you think is good and condemns you for doing what you think is bad.  Paul said that he had a clear conscience… even though he had attempted to kill Christians (Acts 23:1).  The reason Paul could have a clean conscience after doing such reprehensible things is because when Paul did it, he did it in ignorance (1 Tim 1:13).  As soon as Paul realized that he was sinning, he changed.

This is exactly what you are describing in your life.  You try your best, and when your conscience prompts you – you act.  Sure, there are mistakes made along the way, and in reflection, you could do better, but that is true of all of us.  The key is that you are listening to your conscience and keeping a soft heart that is open to the Lord’s teachings (1 Tim 1:5).