A Well-Formed Conscience

By: Bud Rose

1 Peter 2:15, 16

For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of the foolish. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God's slaves.

 

One winter I helped a family member out with his business and became overwhelmed by the dysfunctional state of our society. There is foul language, immorality, gossip, mean-spiritedness, stealing, cheating, hatred, detraction, slander, lying, dominating spirits, procrastination, sloth, dishonesty, and alcoholism. Every day is a new surprise. Things like reconciliation, forgiveness, trust, truthfulness, kindness, and mercy seem to be in outer space. The troubling part is that many of these people would consider themselves Christian. I try to understand some of it because of the times being so stressful; but is it in fact the case that people are using the Christ-given gift of freedom for self- indulgence, power, manipulation, and domination?

Jesus instructs us to obey his commands so that we remain in his love. He has given us the example to follow, as he has obeyed the Father’s commands and remained in his love. Jesus has set us free to make decisions that are in accordance with God’s will and so remain in his love. We are responsible to make every effort to learn the truth God has set forth. The truth sets us free to remain in God’s love. In our society today, decisions, actions, and speech are frequently based more on self-indulgent emotions and feelings than on love. Love, for many, is pure emotion and feeling-oriented. Kindness is often directed towards animals rather than humans. Couples try out their relationships to see if they will work prior to marriage. Stealing is only a problem if you get caught. The word of God is very clear in these matters. Mankind is responsible to learn the truth and develop a well-formed conscience. How can we make a difference?

 

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: What is my conscience telling me? Who is a qualified brother or sister to whom I can go for advice? How might my emotions and appetites be interfering with my ability to make a reasonable judgment?