Wednesday, June 19, 2013
CONSCIOUS OF CONSCIENCE
How aware are we of our conscience? Mildly, very much, not at all? The sentence that brought me to this question was a simple statement that I could not quite get right as I read it: “What did God leave us? …a conscience.” My head had jumped ahead to, ”conscious” and it kept trying to twist the two together so that I could not reach a conclusion about which word to use. Has anything like that ever happened to you and forced you to pull out, shake your head, and start the sentence all over again? I always feel like a dog “shaking off” the water of his bath until he is ready to start again with his roaming and playing.
As I was shaking off, I considered the possibilities: He did leave us conscious. That is true. Adam and Eve were quite conscious, not dead on the ground after they sinned, and the human race has continued to be quite conscious ever since. But this sentence says that in the battle of good and evil (God and Satan) “He left us conscience.” Our primary tool against falling into evil is our conscience and the entire race has one. The question is, how conscious are we of our conscience?
Adam and Eve certainly were very conscious of their conscience as seen by the fact that they suddenly realized they were naked. They also realized there was something wrong about that. Then they had to try to cover themselves and hide from the view of God. Their conscience was an overpowering motivator for their actions.
So… How conscious are we of our conscience. Is it alive and well in us providing a tool for God to use in directing our actions, or have we lost contact with it. Have we perhaps buried under, say, “convenience?” Our conscience tells us we should take a step toward helping another person, but our “convenience” tells us it would be easier to pray for them instead.
Or, maybe our conscience is telling us we are addicted to a habit of some sort (and we are talking a “not necessarily bad” habit, here) but we proclaim that we are calming ourselves from the daily stress of life and it is soothing to do this. And, actually, this is usually something that keeps us from meditating on God, or spending quality time with family as we sequester ourselves into our habit.
Or, perhaps we are hiding our conscience under the heading: It’s what everybody is doing. Sounds a little teenager-ish doesn’t it? But there are many, many teenage adults out there: Doing what everybody else does; following the herd. Some of us just don’t want to grow up. We still feel that growing up takes all the fun out of life.
And, what about that naked thing? How conscious are we of nakedness? Summer is coming. What will we be wearing in the name of summer comfort? Will we let our conscience guide or have we become so unconscious of our conscience that we don’t have a clue about where that may be? Will we once again claim the cover of “everyone else does it?” The baring of skin has come a long way over the years, but there really is a line or two that we should not cross. And we know it and we ignore it and allow ourselves to become less conscious of our conscience.
God “left us conscience.” I guess the question for us is how hard do we fight against that conscience? How many tricks do we use to excuse the behavior that goes against that conscience?
It’s kind of funny, maybe a little ironic, that we beg God often to tell us which turn to take, what choice to make, how to get where it is He wants us to go. And, yet, we try desperately to ignore the very voice of truth that He left with us right inside our own minds. We want “fleeces.’ We want signs and wonders. We want a miracle verse that will tell us everything we need to know. But we do not want to listen to that “inner self” called conscience, which He, Himself, gave us for a general guideline to following His will. And, this tool is a tool of the Holy Spirit within us which He tries to use for our sakes and for Christ’s sake in helping us find our way.
May we all live our lives as people with a conscience, as God intended us to do. And, if our conscience has been consciously subdued under abstract thinking principles, may we confess that and seek His help in rebuilding awareness of what He wants us to know and learn from the conscience He gave us. For Christ’s sake, Amen.