Calibrating Your Conscience

"But the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some in the church will turn away from Christ and become eager followers of teachers with devil-inspired ideas. These teachers will tell lies with straight faces and do it so often that their consciences won’t even bother them." 1 Timothy 4:1-2

There is a well-known saying, "Let your conscience be your guide."  But, should you?  Really?

Once upon a time, a group of mathematicians from a private spaceflight company were performing intricate calculations using the latest scientific calculator for travel to Mars.  They checked and re-checked the data, confident they were ready to go.  As a last minute final check, one of the older scientists suggested checking all of the calculations once more by hand.  To everyone's surprise, they couldn't get the calculations to match despite repeated efforts by multiple experienced mathematicians.  The older scientist suggested, "Perhaps the calculators haven't been calibrated properly."  In checking with the manufacturer, they discovered that, indeed, the calculators had not been properly calibrated, though they were only fractionally off.

While this is a fictional story, can you imagine how disastrous the space flight would've been had the team relied on the non-calibrated results?  Even a very small difference could've had devastating results.

It's the same when we rely on a non-calibrated conscience.

Part of my morning routine each and every day is getting on the bathroom scale to check my weight.  It never ceases to amaze me that once off the scale, it often fails to return to zero.  It seems to need calibrating every day.

So do I.

One of the biggest factors causing our consciences to get off-kilter is the culture in which we live.  It's not reliable.  Our culture tends to change the definition of sin to suit their fancy.  But God doesn’t.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  James 1:27 says, "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."

We mustn’t let the world corrupt us.

But, calibrating our lives to Christian role models, those whose example we admire, and people we look up to can get us into trouble, as well.  They aren't perfect, and much like in our calculator story, we can find ourselves far from home and nowhere close to Mars if we calibrate our lives, our consciences, to theirs.

So, how do we calibrate our consciences?

First, we need a personal relationship with Jesus.  The Holy Bible teaches that while everyone has a conscience, only the Christian has the Holy Spirit dwelling within.  2 Corinthians 6:6, in talking to Christians, tells us, "We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love."  

Having the Holy Spirit within us is a significant difference—the most significant difference.  The devil would have you to believe it's not--but it is.  The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin--beyond the level of our conscience.  The person who doesn’t know Jesus cannot have the Holy Spirit, and does not have a conscience that’s calibrated to Him.  Even the Christian needs daily realignment.

Second, we need to spend time getting to know Him.  He is the only One who was ever perfect, sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21).  That is Jesus.  Ephesians 4:5-6, talking to believers says, "There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all."  

Calibrate to Jesus alone.

And third, denominations of all varieties get things wrong.  That doesn't mean we should forsake God's Church or avoid people who have different beliefs.  It just means Jesus' answers and His Word are always trustworthy.  Read His Word every day.

The only way to calibrate our conscience and find it even remotely reliable is to spend time letting Jesus adjust us every day through repentance, thanksgiving, Bible study, and prayer throughout the day--not just talking to God, but listening to God.  

It's a lot like that bathroom scale.  If we wait a week or two, the adjustment might be so big and shocking it pops a spring!  But, daily adjustments are joyful, refreshing and welcome. 

Have you calibrated your conscience today?  If so, is it calibrated to Jesus?

Goodnight, Runners.

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