Have You Turned Off Your Conscience?
By: Kristen L. McNulty
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I was talking to a friend the other day about her current lifestyle and she said to me "I know what I'm doing is not wrong because it feels right." Think about that for a second: "I know what I'm doing is not wrong because it feels right." If anyone hearing this isn't as appalled as I am, then I fear my friends thoughts are reflected far and wide. Just because something "feels right" doesn't make it so. Don't believe me? Think back to before you were a Christian, did you ever do something that felt right at the time, but now you know is wrong? Think of a situation even after you became a Christian. Ever told a lie and had it "feel right" at the moment? Ever gossiped and had it "feel right" at that point in time? Ever been in a sinful lifestyle and "felt right" about it? I'm sure you have because the devil is at work. Sin is like having cataracts. It slowly adds a layer over our eyes until sooner or later we can't see too clearly anymore.
Let's use an example. Let's say you went out with friends to go see a movie. Your friends want to see a movie that is rated ‘R', in the back of your mind you hear that voice "Don't see that movie, it's wrong". You don't want to be a stick in the mud, so you push that voice out of your mind and walk into the movie theater. You walk out of the theater with a twinge of guilt, but you shrug it off thinking "well, it's not like I'm actually doing the stuff on the screen". Now, two weeks later you're friends want to see another one of these movies and in the back of your mind you hear that voice "Don't see that movie, it's wrong". You push that voice out of your mind and watch the show. This time you feel less guilt. This happens many times until sooner or later you aren't hearing that voice or feeling that guilt. You know why? You've just stifled the Holy Spirit's conviction of sin. 1 Thess. 5 says "Do not stifle the Holy Spirit". Stifling the Spirit means that we have allowed the sin cataracts to cover our eyes. Sooner or later, when we're not listening to the Spirit, it's going to stop talking. And just because you can't hear anything anymore doesn't mean it's right- it means that you've done so much wrong that you've basically silenced your conscience through sin!
Do you think Paul (or Saul) thought he was wrong when he was persecuting Christians? No. He thought he was doing God a favor. Do you think the Romans thought they were wrong when they killed Jesus? No. They thought he was a madman. It is possible to "turn off" ones conscience.
So what about you? Have you stifled the Holy Spirit? Have you ignored your conscience so long that it's no longer audible? It's never too late to ask God to retune your conscience to His standards. How? With three easy steps...
Number one: ask God for forgiveness. Confess all known sin to Him and admit that you were wrong.
Number two: start praying. Pray that God reveals sin in your current life so that you can turn away from sin and turn towards Him.
Number three: set up your standards. Read through God's word and decide for yourself what's acceptable and what's not, then stick to those standards.
Remember the wise words of Paul to the Romans in chapter 6, verses 5 to 11: "Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised as he was. Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin ... [Christ] died once to defeat sin, and now he lives for the glory of God. So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus."
This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.