Is Your Conscience Your Friend Or Enemy?

Do you ever hear voices in your head?  I don’t, but I do hear my conscience from time to time.  Could hearing our conscience be what our society needs to return to sanity, our nation to return to nationhood, our family to be what a family should be?  I find what follows to be an excruciatingly painful thought or truth.  Will anyone be able to escape from their conscience in the end?

The Truth Stated

First, the truth I am talking about is derived from Malachi 3:5.  Note that God mentions here that He will be a swift witness.

“Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says the Lord of hosts.”

What is a witness but one who saw something pertaining to the crime.  I used to have a bumper sticker that read

The Thought Derived

God has watched something and is witness to something.  What?

The sobering if not terrifying thought derived from this truth is brought out in this commentary on this passage.  Barne’s Notes says,

[And I will be a swift witness](NOTE: Dionysius) “In judging I will bear witness, and witnessing, I, the same, will bring forth judgment, saith the Lord; therefore, the judgment shall be terrible, since the judge is an infallible witness, whom the conscience of no one will be able to contradict.”

Our conscience will agree with God the Judge!  And if you are true to yourself, you know it will.  No wonder people flee from God.

But how are you doing fleeing from your own conscience?

Questions Raised

  1. Is your conscience friend or foe?
  2. Would you consider the voice of your conscience to be in the category of self-evident truths?
  3. The Founders sourced self-evident truths in the Declaration of Independence as the rallying point behind their Revolution.  Would they have sought to include our conscience among such things?
  4. Could something as simple as returning to conscience protect the blessings of liberty that we cherish?
  5. If you listened to your conscience particularly close today how would it affect your life, your business, your family, your friends, our government?

Here’s to the hope that pointing such things out will change our world.

And Me

What is the effect of all this on me?  I know my conscience speaks to me and I know I am not that good at listening to it.  Knowing the truth Mal 3:5 motivates me to listen more attentively and maybe even respond more immediately so as not to ignore it.  After all, if I ignore it who or what exactly am I being influenced by?  My conscience is a part of me; why let something that is not control me?

Going to change my way of thinking
Make myself a different set of rules
Going to put my good foot forward
And stop being influenced by fools
full lyrics

Ps 62 Godly Counsel for a Day Like Today

A time when some want to stir up trouble to the point of physical violence and war.

Psalm 62 God Alone a Refuge from Treachery and Oppression

1 My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation.
2 He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.
3 How long will you assail a man, That you may murder him, all of you, Like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence?
4 They have counseled only to thrust him down from his high position; They delight in falsehood; They bless with their mouth, But inwardly they curse. Selah.
5 My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
8 Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.
9 Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie; In the balances they go up; They are together lighter than breath.
10 Do not trust in oppression And do not vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.
11 Once God has spoken; Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God;
12 And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, For You recompense a man according to his work.


Appropriate Consequences

[I am reminded of a time I was at the park with Sam.  He had climbed a ladder and proceeded to the cross walk, but it was blocked by kids twice his height.  He just turned, squatted down and jumped off!  This took my breath away.  Even the older kids were amazed that he had jumped this height.  In my panic I pictured him hitting the ground, his knee coming up under his chin, his teeth biting off his tongue!  None of this happened.  Instead, either because of the thrill or because of the amazement of the people around him, Sam climbed the ladder to repeat his dare devil act over and over again.  But what if he did hurt himself?  What would this teach him?  He would learn to respect gravity.  He would adjust his behavior.  Such is the power of consequences.]

To get your children on board and brainstorm [to establish appropriate consequences], start with a family meeting to list work assignments and come up with appropriate consequences. Children can often be your best source of ideas. We had our first meeting when our oldest two were about four and five years old. At that time we were dealing with slapping, leaving bikes out, and yelling. We asked the children what would be an appropriate response on our part to their behavior. They decided that if they left their bikes out, the bikes would be hung up in the garage out of reach for three days. If they yelled unnecessarily, they would have to go to their room for ten minutes. If they slapped a sibling, they would serve a time out. With the rules posted on a chart on the wall, we would merely point to the chart when an infraction occurred and the child would take the punishment. After all, it was their idea.

If you are at a loss for consequences, Patricia Sprinkle suggests, “Ask yourself this important question: What am I doing for my child that, if left undone, would soon teach the child to care for part of his or her own world?” The purpose of this is to give a nexus, or connection, between behavior and results. Here are some examples:

  • Not taking dishes from table to sink—scrape all plates off for that meal
  • Kitchen not cleaned after one meal—next meal not prepared
  • Toys left out—items confiscated for a day or pay a fine
  • Garbage not taken out—wash all garbage cans in the house and outside
  • Bike left out—can’t ride for three days
  • Arriving late to dinner—no dinner
  • Messy room—stay in room until it is cleaned
  • Unnecessary yelling—go to a room where others won’t be bothered

The idea of consequences is to create some discomfort for the child. This mild discomfort or inconvenience is often an incentive to remember and obey. You know your children better than anyone else. What could you do to drive home the point of responsible behavior to them?

Life Skills For Kids: Equipping Your Child For The Real World

by Christine M. Field

I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. ~ 3 John 4




Key Ingredient in Teaching Responsibility

Work together to tailor consequences in your family.

According to Robert Barnes, teaching responsibility requires use of the ICE plan. The I stands for Instruction, the C for Consequence, and the E for the Experience portion of the learning process. The critical ingredient in teaching responsibility is to establish consequences for one’s actions or lack of actions.

Consequences may require some brainstorming on your part. Elizabeth Crary notes two general types of consequences: “(1) Withdraw a privilege for a short while if the privilege is misused (no television, bike, friends over, etc.) or (2) Retribution. If damage is done, it must be repaid or undone as much as possible.” Since the purpose of consequences is not to punish, but to help the child learn, she suggests asking these questions in making a choice: “Is the consequence reasonable? Is the consequence enforceable? Is the consequence clearly related to the offense? Is the consequence consistent with nurturing care? Is there anger, resentment, or retaliation associated with the consequence?”

Life Skills For Kids: Equipping Your Child For The Real World

by Christine M. Field

I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. ~ 3 John 4