Bobby gave a devotional one Wednesday night about our conscience. He related that it feels like there is a little box inside our chest that turns. Little newborn babies do not have a conscience…nor do they need one. They are pure and innocent just like Adam and Eve, before they disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 3:1-13
Adam and Eve had a conscience though, before they disobeyed God, because of His teaching them to not partake of the tree. But it was a good conscience. As soon as they ate of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve had a bad conscience…and wow! Did it hurt! Their conscience hurt so badly they hid from God. Most of us who are of sound mind and are pre-teen and above can relate to that hurt!
Bobby went on to say that when we do develop a conscience, it is round…like the piece of wood in the background above. It doesn’t hurt when it turns. But when we are educated to discern between right and wrong, and then…when we do something wrong, it is like the square one in the foreground. It does hurt at every turn.
The second time we do the wrong it doesn’t hurt quite as badly, because the corners are worn down a little. Every time we do the wrong, the corners are worn down a little more…until it is rounded like the first one and it doesn’t hurt at all. Scary, isn’t it? There are many who are in this predicament because they can do a lot of bad stuff and it doesn’t bother them at all.
The apostle Paul in Acts 8 was persecuting Christians and he was living under the old law at a time when the new law was in effect. He even put Christians in jail and in some cases had them killed for following Jesus. (Stephen, first Christian to die for Christ) Acts 7:54-60.
Paul (Saul, at the time) didn’t know the new law was in effect and had been since Acts chapter 2, when the church of Christ began. Paul was on his way to Damascus to seize Christians to arrest them and take them back to Jerusalem to prison. Paul’s conscience did not bother him at that time, because he thought he was doing God’s will. God got his attention in Acts chapter 9 and it tells of his conversion, after he went on into Damascus to see Ananias.
After Paul was chosen by Christ to be an apostle, he wrote these words to Timothy in I Timothy 1:19:
“… holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.”
I think Bobby described the conscience in graphic detail and I know that is what it feels like. Most of us over the age of about 6 or even before that…knows the pain of a guilty conscience. The rest of the book of Acts continues with the history of the Lord’s church.