We read from God: "...and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame." (I Pet. 3:16) How important is a good conscience? The goal of preaching/teaching (or it should be the goal) is to create a good conscience within the believer (I Tim. 1:5). When we speak of a good conscience, it is a sense of well being that produces a stability and confidence. When one has a guilty conscience, they are uncomfortable, dissatisfied, aware of their failures and it creates frustrations and one is easily agitated! A guilty conscience has knowledge of their deficiencies and fear begins to grow within. Have you ever done something you knew was wrong and when you faced the one you were closest to, you found yourself either irritated at some little something or overly sweet and nice to get from being caught? That's a guilty conscience at work.
Too many are ruining their lives by not keep a good conscience because they step into sin rather than do what is right staying away from sin. When the conscience is defiled, a persons faith will never move forward. They will drown in their misery, their guilt all the while their conscience becomes slowly seared to where eventually, they will feel no pain! (This is where a lot of bad attitudes come from!) That's the most dangerous position to find yourself. The hardening of the heart is part of that process. Once the conscience is seared over, lying comes easy, sin can be followed and practiced without much concern and the road to doom lay ahead. Something will happen...something major!
She was 18 years old. She let her boyfriend talk her into a sexual relationship. He pushed her and ranted on her until she finally gave in. No one else knew. In teaching a class one Sunday morning, I remember looking at her and she would look away, not wanting to make eye contact or really pay attention. That just did not seem like her. A few days later, my phone rang and here was this precious young lady crying and in the state of panic. She shared with me what had happened and said all through the class, she felt I knew what had happened. She was praying she wasn't pregnant (to which we found out later she was) and she felt so cheap and defiled. You see her conscience was crying out, screaming "You're guilty!" and it was taking her down quickly. If she does not make the proper moves, it could have devastating effects on her life.
Most people choose to ignore their conscience when they know they have performed some disapproved act. That's when all the games start. The faking, the inner turmoil, your self esteem, deception and lying and it will take you completely away from God if it is not dealt with. So, that lead us to this. When you know your conscience is defiled, you know you are guilty, there are one of three choices you will make: (1) IGNORE! When one ignores their conscience when it is guilty, you must also ignore the will of God. That's where the searing process will begin and a life of misery one sets for themselves. (2) JUSTIFY! One can look to ease their guilt by finding fault with someone else for their failure. The blame game begins. A guilty, burden conscience that starts blaming others for their practice will lead you down a road so far from God. You hear people say, "People can't judge me!" That's the blame game and it will not end up good. You will eventually cut off every person that really cares and could help! (3) FACE IT! If one would be honest in their heart, come to God openly, no pretending, no blaming, no faking but an humble honesty, they will find relief for their guilt and favor in the eyes of God. Remember, the blood of Jesus is to cleanse the conscience! (Heb. 9:14)