The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Conscience And Feelings As An Authority

"Even though once I was a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief" (1 Tim.1:13).

As we continue our search for the ultimate authority in our lives, we come to a couple of things that many folks may unfortunately accept. As we look at today's verse, we find a time in the apostle Paul's life that he acted in accordance with his flawed conscience. Using one's conscience or their feelings as a guide to behavior has some built in defects. First of all, they may serve as a guide, but their quality as a guide will be determined by the quality of the person being guided. I think this means the notion that our thoughts and feelings are a part of our own system of awareness might be misinformed or misguided. Lets take a look at an interesting scripture; "This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything" (1 Jn.3:19-20). A tender conscience that sees an injustice may be a good thing. but it is not an infallible thing. Someone may wrestle with their feelings of not being good enough, but the verses from I John tell us that God holds the trump card... He is greater than our hearts and knows everything. At the end of the day, these verses from I John stress that we must trust God and place our faith in the Gospel message, not trust ourselves as the last arbiters of truth, right and "the godly way." When Paul, as Saul, persecuted Christians, his faulty conscience told him that he was doing the right thing. Paul's new mantra became this; Whatever is not of faith for us is sin, and its a good one when a person is wrestling with their conscience. As this devotional comes to an end, let me throw out one little caveat... As faulty or flawed as the conscience may be, it is sometimes a good nagging voice that approves or disapproves what we are contemplating doing. We should listen to the voice, but not give it the final say. That belongs to God and God's Word.

Have a wonderful day.... Make your little part of the world better.... Love mark Phil.4:11

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