Reexamine Your Conscience

reexamine your conscienceReexamine Your Conscience 

Podcast #42

Is it time to reexamine your conscience? In the last podcast, we discussed why examining your conscience is important to your spiritual well-being, and how to work at forming a good conscience by exercising it—praying, reading the Scriptures, attending church, and being around people who challenge you to seek God. We will discuss how to do an examination of conscience, the points you should consider, and ways to live a virtuous life.

Reexamine Your Conscience – Part Two

When we rely on our conscience to make difficult moral decisions, and our conscience is not well formed – it is a recipe for trouble. Our conscience is trustworthy only when it is guided by God and Biblical principals.  However, our conscience cannot be contrary to God’s teachings.

Romans 13:5 “Therefore it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience”

And, Paul states in Romans 14:23—“For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”

Our conscience can be suppressed by sin, and we can make excuses for our behavior through a misinterpretation of what the Bible commands and forbids. If we want to act in a positive manner we must practice being positive. This takes practice until it becomes automatic. The same with our conscience. When we sin we reject God and His authority and rules over us – in time we begin to reject God. Commandments soon become “suggestions,” and we can begin to doubt God … prayers to the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and keep us on the right path–this is so important.

Timothy 4:2 “ Such teachings come through hypocritical liars whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”

When I was homeschooling my children, at the beginning of each year my husband and I would have a dinner date and we would discuss the different things we wanted our children to learn. We would also discuss each of our children, their strengths and what we felt were their weaknesses. We would pray and ask God to bless our children and help them improve in an area we wanted to specifically work on.  Often we would pick out a virtue, such as charity, humility, love, diligence. And, each year we worked toward that goal stopping mid-year to check, to see how we progressed and then again at the end of the year. Our children didn’t know we were working on that “character” in their life—but eventually, we began to see the fruits.

As an adult, our Heavenly Father has mapped this out for us in the Ten Commandments, in the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and by giving us prayer partners and your pastor to hear your struggles and give you advice on how to overcome.

Sometimes we look at our lives and compare it to others and think, “Well, I really don’t do anything wrong.”

1 Corinthians 8:13 “When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.

The older we get, the more the Lord reveals our sinfulness. Knowing something is wrong and consenting – by our will, to do it constitutes a sin.

I once read that mortal sins – bring death; venial or “minor sins” … lying, willful disobedience, etc. are like a disease, while they don’t bring death they still wound us, and sins of omission

We will look at sins in two parts, sins of omission and the sins of willful practice. Omission is like leaving good on the table—it is the ability to do good, but not doing it. The parable of the barren fig tree is a case in point. The tree was alive, the root was strong, the branches covered with leaves, but year after year there was no fruit.

Our lives must bear fruit. Matthew 22:37, 39 – Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”   39–“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

We were made to know, love, serve and worship God. If we do not do this, we are as the parable states in Luke 13:7 – “So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

God knows we will sin and it is just a matter of time before we do each day, but it is those sins of omission – it can start off innocently enough. It is putting off prayer because we are busy, or praying quickly to fit it in because we have more important things to do, or praying—just to check it off the list.

For many of us, our sins are minor yet wanting to live a virtuous life we should look at all sins as a way of leading us further down a dark path.

For example look at the virtues and their opposites.

Virtue Opposite
Diligence Laziness
Humility Pride/ Vanity
Giving Coveting
Chastity Lust
Temperance Gluttony
Meekness Anger/ Wrath
Love Envy

Let’s look at one of these issues, pride, and ways we can sin through this:

  1. Looking down upon others as not as good as ourselves, do we judge others?
  2. Hated others
  3. Refused to think anyone has anything to teach us or our ideas are always better
  4. An abuse of power
  5. Thinking we are always right
  6. Stubbornness
  7. Ambition above all else, no matter who we hurt
  8. Boasting, self-love above others

False humility can also be an area we need to work on.

  1. Failing to use the talents God has given me –thinking I’m not good enough
  2. Avoiding difficult situations because I am not confrontational – even if it is for my own good.
  3. Failure to witness to others

Laziness

  1. Don’t follow 10 commandments because it is too hard
  2. Failing to go to church or pray
  3. Neglecting duties
  4. Using foul language
  5. Being late and causing others to be late
  6. Wasting time my own and others
  7. Watching too much TV, on my ph

Have we fallen into a serious sin that we have difficulty removing ourselves from? Or are we looking for excuses?

People don’t realize that by seeking the occult whether it is in games or the advice of a medium we are opening a door to the dark side.

How can we see the person as hypocritical if our conscience is not well-formed?

Acts 23:1 “… My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience this day.”

Acts 24:16 “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before man and God.”

Let’s Pray – Dear Lord we thank you for giving us the virtues to study and emulate, for giving us good pastors, the church, the Bible and allowing us to surround ourselves with things that are good and worthy of your love. I ask that you watch over and protect us and help us to continue to please you in all that we do. Help us to have a well-formed conscience to know not only what is good or bad but to immediately sense danger if it is the wrong thing –for the sake our souls. Dear Lord continue to bless us and I thank you for this opportunity to praise You and Thank You for all You do in my life daily. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus! In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

 

 

 

 

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