by Neil Anderson
I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men
Folklore advises, “Let your conscience be your guide.” This has serious limitations since our conscience is a function of our mind. Having been conformed to this world, the conscience can be programmed wrongly. It is always true to its own standard. Until we come to Christ, the standard is the world system in which we were raised. Many people are falsely guided by a guilty conscience–not a true guilt, but a psychological guilt usually developed in early childhood. Satan works through this stronghold to accuse the brethren day and night (Revelation 12:10).
People like this are usually perfectionists who labor under condemnation, even though the Bible says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8;1). They aren’t led; they are driven. They constantly look for affirmation. They have a tendency to be man-pleasers. Paul said, “If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). If you are striving to please men, of whom are you a bond-servant?
Since our minds were conformed to this world, we need to renew them in such a way that what we believe is in accordance with truth. Chapter 14 of Romans deals with how we should walk in regard to nonmoral issues. Paul says, “The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves” (Romans 14:22).
However, we are to restrict our freedom if it causes a weaker brother to stumble. We never have the right to violate another person’s conscience. Paul says, “I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men” (Acts 24:16). Be very cautious about going against your own conscience once you are committed to Christ. The Holy Spirit does work through our consciences as He seeks to renew our minds.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that my mind and conscience can be renewed daily through the power of Your Word.