Sunday, September 9, 2012

Con-sense

I haven't been doing much writing on here the last few weeks but am planning on changing that, starting with this post.
One thing I have thought a lot about...for months I guess...is about behavior modification vs. genuine change. Without ever making the connection I became a big proponent of following ones conscience. Today, on the way home from service I made the connection that many people need behavior modification because they don't follow their conscience.
I'll digress after the break!
In the scriptures it talks about the law being written on our hearts. As I understand/interpret that, it is speaking of the conscience...not completely limiting it to that but at least in part. Since most people, myself included, don't follow their consciences to the finitest of details it gets silenced. The more that people ignore & go against what their conscience says the less they will hear it.
Some regard a "strong" conscience as a good thing. That they can do pretty much anything without being bothered by their conscience which means they aren't sinning. Well that's crap.
Most people with sound theological bases agree that the conscience is a good thing, given/created within by God. They would also agree that God is the giver of all good gifts. Yet, some of these same people boast in having a "strong" conscience.
I have certain people in mind that I've been in close proximity with over these last few years but everything I'm saying is straight at myself first.
True strength is weakness. Humility. Service.
I've been told that it's not acceptable to judge anothers conscience & I would agree with that in principle. But the whole non-judgmental thing has really screwed the pooch in a lot of ways. People want to live the lives that they want to live. Since the inner conflict has been won by the sinful nature in the daily actions of so many lives those same people don't want to listen to the conscience. Because they won't listen to their conscience it gets quiet. But some of these people are in our churches. They don't fit the bill of what a Christian should look like so the emphasis is placed on how things look. Not on them actually being changed.
Now, I understand that true life change only comes from God. But on a regular basis we are to be the agents of the change - not the government. Individuals. Person to person. We are to be influences to each other. Exhorting & encouraging each other in the truth.
The service I went to this morning included a passage from Deuteronomy 6.
6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
We're supposed to talk about it. Supposed to live it at all times. The conscience is meant to be a major aid in the process. A constant, hopefully, helper that might prick our thoughts when we are doing/saying/thinking things we shouldn't BUT he...it needs to be listened to. If we listen then the change will happen. Behavior will be what it should be. And it will all be genuine.
It's possible to be an upstanding moral person without following the conscience, but why resist & ignore something that God has provided?
It makes sense to follow the conscience.
It takes practice & a strong will
But God helps. A LOT. :)