Caring for Your Conscience
1 Timothy 1:5
All of us at times face decisions that test our character. When a choice conflicts with our value system, the “first responder” is our conscience. However, even this divine gift has been exposed to the world’s programming, which means we must not only reorient but also fortify our “inner compass.”
The strength of our conscience depends on both truth and tradition, and these, in turn, are impacted by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
- Truth. Since Jesus declared that He is the truth, then maintaining a close relationship with Him through prayer and obedience strengthens our conscience. Both the Holy Spirit and the Word of God play vital roles in this growth process. The Spirit of Truth, as Jesus identified the third Person of the Trinity, is also known as “the Helper.” The Spirit doesn’t just assist us in distinguishing righteousness from sin; He also teaches us and guides us into all truth (John 14:17, 26; 16:8, 13).
- Tradition. Joseph and David both set godly examples for us to follow when we face temptation—they let their conscience guide them in honoring God. At great personal cost, Joseph rejected the advances of Potiphar’s wife (Gen. 39). And David, though presented with an opportunity to kill or humiliate Saul, chose instead to leave the matter in the Lord’s hands (1 Sam. 24:5-7).
We can rely on the Holy Spirit to help us develop a better conscience. He has given us everything we need for the task, which is essential if we are to live a godly life.