"So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man."
Everyone has one, but not everyone responds to it. Your conscience and my conscience has been placed within us by God. It's that voice that acts as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of our behavior.
For the Christian, there are two things ever present within us and they are 'THE HOLY SPIRIT' and 'CONSCIENCE'. The Holy Spirit convicts us when there is the presence of something wrong on our part. The Holy Spirit works along with our conscience to bring us to the understanding that there is a matter that needs to be addressed and set right before God and possibly before man.
In Matt. 14:1 It says, " At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him." This verse gives proof that Herod's conscience was getting the best of him. He definitely wanted to be done with John the baptist for telling him that it was wrong for him to mess with his brother's wife. Oh how he hated that rebuke! So when he gave card blanc for his niece to ask what she wished from him, and it was for the head of John the baptist, he didn't even try to get her to ask for something else. He now had the chance to punish John and exact revenge on him.
What Herod didn't count on was that his conscience would condemn him and not let the matter go. That's the work of the conscience. So now he thinks that John the baptist has resurrected himself in Jesus. How sad.
Joseph's brothers thought the same thing. They thought that their problem would be solved in getting rid of Joseph. Well, that proved to be wrong when they found that cup in their sack and the first thing out of one of their mouths was, "This is happening to us because of what we did to our brother, Joseph." Now what they did was done years before, so how is it that's the first thing that comes to mind? It was 'Conscience'! It doesn't matter how long ago you or I committed that sin against God or wronged our brother or sister, our consciences will never rest within us until we make things right!!
When King David sinned that sin with Bathsheba, and had her husband, Uriah, killed, he too put his dastardly deed way to the back of his mind and forgot all about it. God had to send Nathan, the prophet, to address the matter with David. Nathan gives a scenario and David makes a judgement about what should be done to a man who would do such a thing, only to be told, "Thou Art The Man!" Then King David folds and gives in to the conviction of his conscience.
We can never run from our consciences. Either it will convict us of wrong or give us peace when we're right. It is best if you and I answer to the conscience God has placed within us. When we don't, the Holy Spirit will make us take responsibility and force us to do what we should have done earlier. God will never let it ride or let us go free when we are in the wrong.
Years could go by and we could deceive ourselves into thinking that we are okay, but God won't leave us that way. If we really belong to Him, He will force our hand one way or the other.
Let us do what is right. If in the wrong, go and set it right with God and your brother or sister (if the wrong involves them). God's desire is that we walk in this scene free minded and free to be led by His Spirit without hinderance. God wants us to be open to hearing Him at all times. If we hide sin, He will not hear us.
You might be saying, "But I have already confessed it to God." Yes, you did well, but if the wrong involves others, God says to go a step further and confess it to your brother or sister so that healing and mending in the relationship can take place. You're not off the hook just yet. Many of us fail to do that part.
May the Lord help you and I to avoid sinning, avoid problems with one another, in the first place, and may He help us to respond obediently to His tug on our hearts.
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