[Papercut Press Publishing] 1998-01-26 - Throwing Stones

1 Peter 3:16 "and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame."

For several weeks I have been using the Monday devotional to seek a Biblical/Theological response to an issue currently in the news. Unfortunately, this was such a quiet week in the news, there was nothing to comment on. Actually, I am resisting the temptation to take allegations for facts. This is because I live in a glass house. We all live in glass houses and let the first of us who is without sin, cast the first stone. I'll even E-mail you the stone.

Wisdom would encourage us to examine our own consciences and see if there are sins or short-comings that we need to deal with. A damaged or weak conscience can be rectified (1 John 1:9). A conscience that is distressed can be quieted. The way to this quiet conscience is varied, but it starts in one place. I would like to call it private confession.

Private confession, to heal the conscience, signifies a particular confession for a particular sin. Repentance for particular sins is needful in the Christian life. Sometimes the Christian is set in a continual, habitual sin and this sin is repented of, repented of, again and again, like an endless cycle or black hole. It becomes like a trap. Yet repentance is still called for, yes, even for besetting sins.

Conscience reclaims the sinner, but if conscience is slighted the sinner can become deaf to its call. If you have ever lived by railroad tracks or a busy road, the continual noise, at first, can not be ignored, but over time, the noise will be neither heard nor minded. So it is with conscience. Standing long in the cesspool of sin can render conscience useless and make the stench of sin acceptable.

Having a clean conscience before God is a freeing experience for the follower of Christ. Confessed sin is buried sin. A conscience that has once been molested by the fear and sadness of having not lived up to God's holy standard can be pacified.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

"Conscience, the domestic chaplain." John Trapp

"Peace of conscience is nothing but the echo of pardoning mercy." William Gurnall

Soli Deo Gloria,