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A Good Conscience

If I regard iniquity in my heart,
The Lord will not hear.
Psalm 66:18

Do we have a good conscience? If not, we would not be able to experience true freedom.

In the White House Collection, there is a letter written by a child addressed to President Cleveland in 1895:

To His Majesty, President Cleveland:

Dear President:

I'm in a dreadful state of mind; and I thought I would write and tell you all.

About two years ago, I used two postage stamps that had been used before on letters, perhaps more than twice. I did not realize what I had done until lately. My mind is constantly turning on that subject, and I think of it night and day.

Now, dear President, will you please forgive me? And I promise I will never do it again. Enclosed find cost of three stamps, and please forgive me, for I was then but thirteen years old, for I am heartily sorry for what I have done.

From one of your subjects.

Just two postage stamps can haunt this little heart night and day for two years! A guilty conscience is powerful enough to ruin the lives of both children and adults alike, no matter how little and small the matter might be!

Conscience is a person's inner witness and awareness. When conforming to the will of God, it will result in a sense of approval, but departing from it will result in a sense of condemnation.

There are many ways to deal with our conscience:

  • Deny it by pretending to be innocent.

  • Ignore it by refusing to listen to its voice.

  • Bury it by injecting something else to take its place.

  • Compensate it by doing something good to reduce our guilt.

  • Cleanse it by admitting our wrongs and seeking forgiveness.

Below is how David the psalmist felt when he had sinned against the LORD:

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit.

When I kept silent, my bones grew old
Through my groaning all the day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah

I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,"
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
Psalm 32:1-5

O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your wrath,
Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure!
For Your arrows pierce me deeply,
And Your hand presses me down.

There is no soundness in my flesh
Because of Your anger,
Nor any health in my bones
Because of my sin.

For my iniquities have gone over my head;
Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
My wounds are foul and festering
Because of my foolishness.

I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly;
I go mourning all the day long.
For my loins are full of inflammation,
And there is no soundness in my flesh.

I am feeble and severely broken;
I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.
Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You.

My heart pants, my strength fails me;
As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.
Psalm 38:1-10

A lot of people are living with a guilty and blemished conscience. Some could not have a single night of peaceful sleep because they are troubled within. Our conscience affects our whole being - body, soul and spirit.

Sin violates our relationship with God by breaking His laws. Its far-reaching effects also affect others including our friends and family. Admitting our sins is the first step of gaining freedom from an evil conscience. God's mercy and forgiveness will then flow, and cleanse our souls and spirits. Lovingkindness awaits us not only from God, but also from our friends and family who care for us, and desire us to live free.

No matter how long ago the matter was, if we still remember it, it's reason enough to deal with it. Time cannot erase away a blemished conscience. Many people have testified that they had received forgiveness and freedom from the wrongdoings that they had done some thirty or fifty years ago.

We must let the Spirit of God search our hearts to see if there is anything we need to deal with, or any offenses which we have done towards others even if it was a long time ago. It is not for us to try and dig up everything we can remember from our past.

There are some sins that we have sinned against God alone. We must seek God's forgiveness alone. If we have sinned morally in our thoughts only towards another person, and that person was not aware of it, it is not necessary to go to that person and say, "I've had these lustful thoughts toward you." This sin was against God. Take it to God, and ask His forgiveness.

There are consequences for our sins. Being repentant and clearing our conscience doesn't always mean that we would not experience those consequences anymore. King David had to face the consequences of adultery and murder. Those consequences did not go away. But he could have a clear conscience. Zacchaeus repented of his sins, and made restitution for his wrongdoings. He gave half of his goods to the poor, and restored fourfold those whom he had cheated through over-collection of taxes (Luke 19:8).

Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience,
in all things desiring to live honorably.
Hebrews 13:18

Written On:
14 July 2005