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The Treaure of a Pure Conscience

"For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God."
(1 John 3:20-21)
Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

The longer I live for God, the more aware I become of the value of having a pure conscience before my heavenly Father. Just as Adam and Eve experienced a gut-wrenching sense of shame when they realized the weight of their disobedience in the Garden, few feelings are worse than knowing we have failed the one Who gave His life for our salvation.

Of course as Paul wrote in Romans 3:23, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Notice that he didn't say we came short (past sense), but that even as Christians we continue to come short, failing to measure up to the holiness of our Creator.
And while this sort of inadequacy is an inescapable part of our human nature, the kind of failure I'm referring to manifests itself in much more subtle ways we might be tempted to believe are also unavoidable.

How many times have you heard someone (perhaps even yourself) say, "Well, I know I'm not as close to God as I should be..." We readily acknowledge that we should spend more time in prayer, Bible study, and Scripture memorization, but it's almost as if we've become so used to falling short in these areas that we've just quit trying to change. Complacency has taken root in our hearts, and we've come to view it as an irremovable part of the landscape.

The problem with this mindset is not just that we're missing out on the direct benefits of a closer walk with God; it's that our consciences are marred in the meantime, impacting almost every other aspect of our spiritual lives - a fact John was obviously very well aware of himself, as we see in today's Scripture. Although it's true that our salvation does not depend on what we feel, I believe it is nonetheless important for a Christian to "feel" saved and thus avoid doubt and discouragement that can lead to other sins. Beyond that, it's important for you to know in your heart of hearts that you are walking in daily obedience and fellowship with Jesus Christ. Granted, there may be days when this realization is not as strong as others, but you can still carry your faith with you into any valley you may be forced to walk through.

I encourage systematic Scripture memorization for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the joy it brings to those who commit to it. But I've come to believe even as I have written these words that the joy of Scripture memorization can be attributed at least in part to simply knowing we are fulfilling God's call on our lives. A true love for God will always lead to obedience (John 14:15), which in turn leads to joy (John 15:10-11), which then results in us being eager to bring forth spiritual fruit that glorifies God (John 15:7-8). Only then can we enjoy the immeasurable blessing of a pure conscience before God.

2 thoughts on “The Treaure of a Pure Conscience”

  • Adam

    This site was... how do you say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I've found something which helped me. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Jim Woychuk

    Adam, glad the site was relevant and helpful.

    Dakota, another very good word here. Interesting to see how often the Spirit through Paul avows the value of purity of conscience or sets forth the value of a good conscience. E.g. 2 Tim. 1. "I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did . . ."

    I agree with you about how important this is! Somewhere in his fiction (I forget where just now), C. S. Lewis depicts the heady medicine that a newly clear conscience can be for someone who's spent a long time without it.

    Reply
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