A good conscience
I've been preaching Wednesday nights through the life of David. Chp. 24 describes how David would not take Saul's life, even when he had the chance. Saul wandered into the very cave where David and his men were hiding. To David's men this was a perfect opportunity, in fact a God-given opportunity, for David to kill Saul and end his reign of terror. David knew God far too well to try and understand His will through circumstances. But, he does something he knows that he shouldn't. He slips up on Saul and clips off a corner of his robe. Now, the narrative tells us that David knew what he had done was wrong. His conscience was troubled immediately by sin. I was impressed this. David had developed a sensitive conscience before God. I wonder how many believers have consciences that as sensitive to the Spirit of God as David's. In fact, I wonder how many believers are even concerned about their conscience.
God is concerned. I Timothy 1:5 lists a good conscience as one of the goals of Biblical teaching. In Acts 24:16 Paul states that he worked to always maintain a good conscience before God and men. What a blessing and a joy it is to lay one's head down at night with a clear conscience. Yet, what a rarity it is in today's world. We are to train up or conscience through the reading and application of God's word. The more obedient we are to God, the more sensitive our conscience becomes before the Lord. On the other hand disobedience can sear and harden a person's conscience. How many times have we heard professing Christians say and do things at church that would embarrass a pagan, and walk out feeling entirely justified in what they have done. Through disobedience they have hardened their conscience to the point they can longer accurately discern right from wrong.
What a different place most churches and most families would be if we would just pay a little more attention to our conscience.