What You Need to Know about Your Conscience

“If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything” ~ 1 John 3:20 (NIV)

Your conscience can’t be trusted. Neither can mine. We may feel blameless and be guilty—or vice versa. Sometimes, our consciences point bony fingers at us when we’ve done nothing wrong.

Only Christ, not our conscience, is equipped to correctly judge us. But other people and guilty feelings can confuse us. Let me share how I’ve experienced this.

At a women’s event, I noticed two strangers talking in a corner of the room. I smiled and introduced myself. One withered me with her glare. The other was cordial but her eyes held no warmth. What had I done to offend them? I wondered.

Later in the evening I tried again. Maybe I’d interrupted some private conversation the first time. I walked over and thanked them for coming. The hostile one squashed every attempt I made to converse. I left searching my memory for what I’d done to offend these women.

That encounter haunted me for three days. Had I been too forward or insensitive? Did I need to apologize? If so, for what?

I considered calling my close friend who’d also greeted them. Maybe she knew what was going on. But I hated to come across as being petty.

To my surprise, when my friend invited me to lunch, she brought it up but in regard to herself. Their palpable animosity had left her questioning herself too.

Both of our consciences had joined forces with a stranger’s rudeness and accused us. Rationally, we knew we hadn’t wronged anyone, but our emotions whispered: You must have done something.

A Better Barometer

I find it amazing the Apostle Paul didn’t even examine himself. The Lord was his judge (1 Corinthians 4:3-5). Jesus is a far better corrector than our consciences. His clear and specific reviews enlighten us. Did you get that? He precisely edits our errors without confusion. This is quite different from the world, the flesh, and the devil’s accusations that leave us churning in foggy turmoil.

It’s taken me a while to realize that someone’s disapproval doesn’t mean I did something wrong. Jesus and the Apostle Paul outraged many, but not because they mishandled situations. The same words that ignited faith in some unleashed murder in others. If Paul learned to live with others’ criticisms, so can we.

For me, it does not feel like “a very small thing” to be judged by someone, including my own conscience. But Paul’s example teaches me to stand on Christ’s opinion and to remember God is greater than my conscience.

Question: Is your conscience lax or condemning?

Click here to comment.

Learn more from of my book Give Yourself a Break

Blessings,

Debbie W. Wilson

Linking to: #sharingHisbeauty, #TestimonyTuesday, #LivefreeThursday

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Beth

    “I’m giving myself a break from a faulty conscience!”

  2. Debbie Wilson

    Me too, Beth!

  3. Katherine

    Loved your post for July 20th: “What You Need to Know about Your Conscience”

    Infinite thanks for sharing.

    The following words from you and the Lord have really blessed and encouraged me today – they are just what I needed to hear and be reminded of:

    “Only Christ, not our conscience, is equipped to correctly judge us. But other people and guilty feelings can confuse us.”

    “For me, it does not feel like “a very small thing” to be judged by someone, including my own conscience. But Paul’s example teaches me to stand on Christ’s opinion and to remember God is greater than my conscience.”

    My conscience often times is overly condemning.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Katherine, thank you so much for sharing. My conscience can condemn me too. But God has used those time to draw me to Himself and learn to rest in Him. Be blessed!

  4. Ralph Smith

    Another interesting insight! Thank you.

    “I’m giving myself a break from a faulty conscience!”

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ralph, that’s great!

  5. Melissa

    Great post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Melissa, for reading and commenting.

  6. Maria Gloria Perez Recio

    I’m giving myself a break from a faulty conscience.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Good for you, Maria!

  7. Marilyn Couch

    Thanks, Debbie, for being humble & honest – so refreshing.
    You always encourage us to do
    the same.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Marilyn.

  8. Sandi B

    I have the same experience of feeling quilty when I am not. Thanks for the scripture

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Sandi.

  9. Ann

    I so appreciate you sharing that experience with those women because I can so totally relate! I can’t imagine anyone who hasn’t experienced this at one time or another. My personality is naturally prone to apologize – whether it is warranted or not! If left to my own devices I would apologize for everything whether it was my fault or not. So this was refreshing and encouraging to me.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Ann. I hate any feeling of conflict. Thank you, my friend.

  10. Fuller

    THANK YOU, Debbie, for this encouraging word which “distinguishes” between spirits – -and even, of course, pointing to the Word which helps us do exactly just that – -even “distinguishes between the soul and the spirit.” (Heb. 4:12)
    🙂

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Fuller!

  11. Sharon D. Bean

    Thank you for sharing your incident with us. It’s so true how the enemy can use our own thoughts to condemn us even when we haven’t done anything wrong. Many times I’ve mistaken something that was going on but when I was patient and waited sometimes found out that what I thought someone was thinking didn’t have anything to do with me but with something else that was going on with that person. So now I try not to assume anything of what someone is thinking and leave it in God’s hands.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Sharon, that shows real wisdom: Don’t assume and leave it in God’s hands.

  12. Sue McGee Wind

    I love the way you express yourself. You have taught me so much over the years. I love you! ❤️

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Sue. You are a dear friend.

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