Conscience tells us that we ought to do right, but it does not tell us what right
is--that we are taught by God's word.
Throughout his administration, Abraham Lincoln was a president under fire, especially
during the scarring years of the Civil War. And though he knew he would make errors of
office, he resolved never to compromise his integrity. So strong was this resolve that he
once said, "I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the
end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth,
I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me."
Today In The Word, August, 1989, p. 21.
Once we assuage our conscience by calling something a "necessary evil," it
begins to look more and more necessary and less and less evil.
Sidney J. Harris.
When Sgt. Ray Baarz of the Midvale, Utah, police department opened his wallet, he
noticed his driver's license had expired. Embarrassed at having caught himself red-handed,
he had no alternative. He calmly and deliberately pulled out his ticket book and wrote
himself a citation. Then Baarz took the ticket to the city judge who fined him five
dollars. "How could I give a ticket to anyone else for an expired license in the
future if I didn't cite myself?" Baarz asked.
As someone else has said, "She won't listen to her conscience. She doesn't want to
take advice from a total stranger."
Bob Goddard, St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
The antagonism between life and conscience may be removed in two ways: By a change of
life or by a change of conscience.
The trouble with the advice, "Follow your conscience" is that most people
follow it like someone following a wheelbarrow--they direct it wherever they want it to
go, and then follow behind.
Did you know that ever since 1811 (when someone who had defrauded the government
anonymously sent $5 to Washington D.C.) the U.S. Treasury has operated a Conscience Fund?
Since that time almost $3.5 million has been received from guilt-ridden citizens.
Swindoll, The Quest For Character, Multnomah, p. 70.
The great attorney, orator, and statesman Daniel Webster was such an imposing figure in
court that he once stared a witness out of the courtroom. Apparently Webster knew the man
was there to deliver false testimony, so he fixed his "dark, beetle-browed" eyes
on the man and searched him . According to the story, later in the trial "Webster
looked around again to see if [the witness] was ready for the inquisition. The witness
felt for his hat and edged toward the door. A third time Webster looked on him, and the
witness could sit no longer. He seized his chance and fled from the court and was nowhere
to be found."
Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute,
January 1992, p.31.
Statistics and Stuff
The glory of a good person is the testimony of a good conscience. A good conscience is
able to bear very much and is very cheerful in adversities. An evil conscience is always
fearful and unquiet. Never rejoice except when you have done well. You shall rest sweetly
if your heart does not accuse you. Sinners never have true joy or feel inward peace,
because 'there is no peace for the wicked,' says the Lord (Isaiah 57:21). The glory of the
good is in their consciences, and not in the tongues of others, The gladness of the just
is of God, and in God; and their joy is of the truth.
A person will easily be content and pacified whose conscience is pure. If you consider
what you are within, you will not care what others say concerning you. People consider the
deeds, but God weighs the intentions. To be always doing well and to esteem little of
one's self is the sign of a humble soul. For not he who commends himself is approved, but
whom the Lord commends, 'says Paul (2 Corinthians 10:18). To walk inwardly with God, and
not to be kept abroad by any outward affection, is the state of a spiritual
person. Conscience is that faculty in me which attaches itself to the highest that I know,
and tells me what the highest I know demands that I do. It is the eye of the soul which
looks out either toward God or toward what it regards as the highest authority. If I am in
the habit of steadily facing toward God, my conscience will always introduce God's perfect
law and indicate what I should do. The point is, will I obey? I have to make an effort to
keep my conscience so sensitive that I walk without offense. I should be living in such
perfect sympathy with God's Son that in every circumstance the spirit of my mind is
renewed. The one thing that keeps the conscience sensitive to Him is the habit of being
open to God on the inside. When there is any debate, quit. There is no debate possible
when conscience speaks.
C.F.H. Henry, Christian Personal Ethics,
Eerdmans, 1957, p.
A man consulted a doctor, "I've been misbehaving, Doc, and my conscience is
troubling me," he complained. "And you want something that will strengthen your
willpower?" asked the doctor. "Well, no," said the fellow. "I was
thinking of something that would weaken my conscience."
Bits & Pieces, May 27,
1993, p. 21.
I have to live with myself, and so
I want to be fit for myself to know,
I want to be able, as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don't want to stand, with the setting sun,
And hate myself for the things I've done.
I don't want to keep on the closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself, as I come and go,
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of a man I really am;
I don't want to dress up myself in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect,
I want to deserve all men's respect;
But here in the struggle for fame and pelf
I want to be able to like myself.
I don't want to look at myself and know
That I'm bluster and bluff and empty show.
I can never hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself, and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.
This poem's origin is unknown. It could be from: Courage - You Can Stand Strong in
the Face of Fear, Jon Johnston, 1990, SP Publications, pp. 90-91.