Paul wrote, “Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.”
— 1 Timothy 1:18-19 (NIV)
Well, forty-seven years have passed since I first traveled down this road of a clear conscience. Many more opportunities have presented themselves that test my commitment to keeping a clear conscience. The biggest one was the loss of my mother, who was murdered by one of her friends. It took me some time to come to a place of forgiveness for the one who took her life and to stop harboring bitterness and wanting revenge.
Even though the murder of my mother is horrendous, it’s the little sins that creep in daily and that I make friends with that really start sapping my peace and clear conscience. All these years later, I still seek to maintain a clear conscience with my Maker, with my wife, and with my family. You know, it’s quite humbling to still deal with my shortcomings all these years later. But I still believe it’s so worth it to say along with Paul, “Holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.” Let’s avoid making friends with things that compromise our conscience. It’s a gift that God has given each of us to maintain short accounts with God and man. Plus we’ll sleep much better at night.
Lord, help us as we grow older to not excuse ourselves in regards to keeping a clear conscience. Thank you for your unrelenting grace toward us. Amen.
James “Moe” Smith
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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