By Rob Matthews
One of the characters in the 1940 Disney movie Pinocchio was Jiminy Cricket, who was appointed to be Pinocchio’s official conscience by the “Blue Fairy”. One of Jiminy Cricket’s most memorable quotes was “Let your conscience be your guide”.
What is conscience? That faculty of the mind, or inborn sense of right and wrong by which we judge the moral character of human conduct. Just like Pinocchio, we too have a conscience, that still small voice inside that tugs at our heart, only ours is not from a “blue fairy”, ours is of the Holy Spirit. It is common to all men, but like all our other faculties, it has been perverted by the fall of man, often spoken of as “seared” (1 Timothy 4:2) or “defiled ” (Titus 1:15). It is our conscience that convicts us of our sins or wrongdoing.
In the Gospel of John, we read about the scribes and Pharisees bringing a woman caught in adultery to Jesus. They questioned him concerning the law of Moses which said she should be stoned to death. Jesus then wrote something on the ground, then stood and said “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast the stone at her”. They who heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one until all had left (John 8:9).
When the Holy Spirit stirs a person’s conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not that person’s relationship with others that bothers him, but his relationship with God. Psalms 51:4 says: Against thee, thee only, have I sinned.
When we acknowledge our sins and repent saying “I have sinned” and mean it, not just simple sorrow for a foolish mistake, but true repentance, then the Holy Spirit who produces these struggles, begins the formation of the Son of God in that person’s life. This new life will reveal itself in conscious repentance.
The foundation of Christianity is repentance. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation but worldly sorrow brings death (2 Corinthians 7:10). Conviction of sin is best described in these words: My sins, my sins, my Savior, How sad on Thee they fall! Jesus talking about the comforter, which is the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send, said in (John 16:8) “and when he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement.”
A conscience that has been seared or hardened over the years can be made right. Remember, Christ died for our sins and gave us a way to be right with God. A way to be forgiven. It was Christ’s blood that was shed for us. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
We are all responsible for every word spoken and what we say will either acquit us or convict us (Matthew 12:36-37).
THINK before you speak:
…and then “Let your conscience be your guide.”
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