1 Timothy 1:5-7
Let your conscience be your guide. This bit of folk wisdom seems to make sense since our conscience is designed to help us discern right from wrong. However, people cannot always trust their internal radar to steer them correctly; this is the case particularly with unbelievers, who don’t have the Holy Spirit to reveal truth and offer guidance for wise decisions. And while Christians do have God’s indwelling Spirit, they should be careful not to harbor sin in their lives, as that can interfere with the way their morality sensor functions.
A trustworthy conscience is programmed with scriptural teaching. Believers build a stable and sensitive spiritual radar system by applying God’s truth to their lives. They are committed to thinking and acting in ways that honor and please the Lord. Then, when sinful thoughts or choices come across that radar, it will deliver a sharp warning.
A person with a reliable conscience will have a strong desire to obey God. He won’t settle for what feels right or looks good, but instead prayerfully seeks the Lord’s will. In other words, he does not rely solely on his conscience but incorporates all of the Holy Spirit’s tools into his daily life: Scripture, prayer, etc. Moreover, when his spiritual radar sounds the alarm, he is quick to draw back and reject unwise choices.
A conscience isn’t designed to be our guide; it is a tool of the Guide. The Holy Spirit not only convicts us of sin, but He also brings to mind godly principles and leads us on a righteous path. He uses a variety of tools to conform us to the likeness of Christ (Rom. 8:29).
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.