God gave us the gift of a conscience to act as a moral compass, but if we ignore it, we may suffer shipwreck. When writing to Timothy, Paul charged the young man to keep the truths of the faith and a good conscience. Ignoring either piece of advice could have put Timothy in danger.
The conscience is an inner monitor that judges our actions as right or wrong, but it is fallen and in need of redemption. Depending on how it’s been programmed, our moral compass even has the potential to nudge us in the wrong direction.
Paul himself is an illustration of this. His formal education as a Pharisee had taught him that Christians were a threat to God and the Jewish faith. His conscience had been programmed to see killing them as service to the Lord. So he passionately hunted believers down without a twinge of guilt. Only after Christ met him on the way to Damascus was his inner sense of right and wrong transformed and his life’s course altered.
We need the truths of faith to shape our conscience so we can trust it to lead us in the right direction. Take a moment to ask the Lord if anything is clouding your internal signals, and trust in His promise to make your path straight (Prov. 3:5-6).
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