When Your Conscience Doesn’t Condemn You
When Your Conscience Doesn’t Condemn You April 3, 2022
“And Paul, looking intently at the Council, said, ‘Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day.'” (Acts 23:1)
“Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.” (I John 3:21-22)
Have you ever heard of someone who committed suicide because they just couldn’t live with themselves any longer? What they did in their past has tormented them on a daily basis and they couldn’t bear under the weight of that stricken, guilty conscience. They saw no way of ever having a clear conscience but only one with regrets and condemnation.
Someone has said that a clear conscience makes a good pillow. What that means is that one’s conscience is not cluttered with past mistakes, bad decisions and memories of people that we’ve hurt and regrettable things we cannot change. It is clear of all that clutter, thus allowing one’s mind to relax, be undisturbed and able to sleep quite contently. In other words, your conscience is not condemning you.
But what adult doesn’t have past regrets and mistakes they’ve made that haunts their conscience? The apostle Paul states that all of mankind has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) so we should all be affected by a conscience that condemns us for what we’ve done or not done; for what we’ve said or not said. Yet the Bible states that people can get to a point when their conscience is seared (hardened like a callous) and unaffected by the evil and wrong that they do (I Timothy 4:1-3). I don’t want my conscience to ever get to that point, do you?
So here’s the question: Can a person have a clear conscience before God as the apostles Paul & John suggest we can have in the two scriptures cited at the beginning of this article? If so, then how? How can anyone live before God with a perfectly good conscience and how can anyone not have a heart that condemns us?
I don’t believe it is possible for us to forget the past but I do believe we can live our lives without the past condemning us before God. One can have a perfectly good conscience when a Christian’s conscience is reminded of the fact that God has forgiven & forgotten all of their past sins (Psalms 103:11-12; II Corinthians 5:18-19; Hebrews 8:7-13; 10:15-18; I John 1:5-10). If God no longer condemns us then why are we continuing to do so? With God’s acceptance and forgiveness there is no further need for our conscience to condemn us. What purpose would that serve except maybe to punish ourselves? God’s forgiveness should provide us with a clear conscience. What a blessing this brings to our hearts but especially so when it comes to standing before God at the Judgment.