Is My Conscience Clear?

Steve & Shirley

Steve & Shirley

“My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent.mIt is the Lord who judges me.” 1 Corinthians 4:4

 Whenever someone tells me, “My conscience is clear,” I doubt it. You see, people with a clear conscience don’t usually feel the need to declare it.

When people say, “My conscience is clear,” I think what they are really saying is “Do you think my conscience should be clear? Let me run this by you. And then you can expect me to argue with you if you say it isn’t. But still, I wonder and so I put the idea out there.”

The apostle Paul understood this about himself. He knew that just because he felt like a good guy, he wasn’t necessarily. Just because he believed his conscience was clear, it didn’t make it so. We human beings see our lives through our own point of view. Viewed from someone else’s angle, we may not look quite as blameless.

In the end, God judges all of us: the innocent, the guilty, and those who have themselves in entirely the wrong category. I guess that’s why we need a prayer of confession. So that at the end of a week where we have declared ourselves to have a clear conscience, we might confess: “…but I could be wrong about that.”

Dear Lord, I confess that I have fallen short in thought, word, and deed. And some of that might have happened while I was complimenting myself. Remarkably, your forgiveness covers stuff like that. And for that I remain forever thankful. Amen.

Grace and Peace


2 Responses

  1. Good AM, Steve. I’ve asked the following in Sunday School and was planning to ask you but time got away from me. How do you know the difference between the conscience and the Holy Spirit? You asked for ideas. Thanks. Donna

    • I am not sure there is a conclusive way since the Spirit and conscience seem to work in much the same way. However, it seems in my experience that the Spirit is not so much into guilt as into an uplifting revelation or epiphany of how to move forward and through to reconciliation or renewal.

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