1 Tim 1:18-19
This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies
previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight, keeping
faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in
regard to their faith. (NAS)
In the day-to-day activities of life it is easy to lose sight of the importance of a clean conscience. Like foxes that spoil the vine, compromise can dull our spirit and undermine our relationship with the Lord. Little offences, hardly significant to our natural mind can have serious consequences to our spirit.
Let us consider for a moment what the conscience is. It’s a faculty of a man”s spirit that is sensitive to innate truth. It may be likened to a bridge between the spirit and our mind. The Holy Spirit uses our conscience to quicken us to God’s nature and righteousness. When we cross into areas of unrighteousness the conscience begins to trouble us and requires action on our part to satisfy its accusation. In many ways an active conscience is a great gift because it requires us to live open and righteous lives before the throne of grace.
When we endeavor to navigate life with a clean conscience there is tangible results. We have confidence when we pray or worship and we live a sincere and honest life. Our capacity to share the Good News of the Kingdom is no longer hindered by guilt.
Paul warns in his letter to Timothy to nurture a good conscience. To ignore our conscience is to invite disaster. When we sin and do not obey the prompting of our conscience to repent and set things right, we begin the process of hardening our heart.
We harden ourselves to receiving truth and become vulnerable to deceiving spirits. Many are driven to rationalize and justify their behaviors; some lose themselves in the noise of our culture seeking to escape the testimony of their own heart. Some escape through a long list of vices, each leading to more condemnation and further retreat from the grace of God.
A clean conscience produces an inner peace of the spirit, no longer our own heart bringing accusations against us. It comes as a result of making peace with God and restitution with the ones whom we have hurt or offended. When we apply God’s principals, we gain victory. We must come to gripes that excuses do not clean our conscience. Only sincere repentance, and where necessary restitution silence the accusations of our conscience. When we offend God, we must repent. When we hurt someone with our words or actions we must ask forgiveness. If we have stole we must make restitution. A life of freedom is living life free from the shackles of regret or shame.
Please consider the promptings of your heart. When you remember your past are you ashamed? Are there those who you have hurt or offended? Is there moral failure in your life? Take these things to Christ. He stands as your advocate and redeemer. Do what ever in your power to restore and make right. Be quick to repent and you will avoid the heartbreak of shipwreck.