Have you ever thought of how the conscience works? What does it look like? Does the Bible support its existence? Is it really some sort of voice ringing in your head while you try to make decisions? What is the difference between the Holy Spirit and the conscience then?
In this article, you will know the true nature of the conscience. And how you and I could keep it clean and clear?
So here are the ten commandments on how to clear your conscience.
What is Conscience?
The word “conscience” came from the Latin “conscientia”, meaning “privity of knowledge” or “with knowledge”.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one’s conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good.
The Bible teaches us that we should live with a clear conscience (1 Peter 3:16). Jesus died on the cross so we could be free of guilt. To some extent, even those who didn’t know God would have a sense of what is right and wrong (Romans 2:14, 15).
For example, you don’t have to be a Christian to realize that shoplifting is wrong or killing is wrong. It is the conscience that dictates us that these things are not moral and rig
What Corrupts Conscience?
Since time immemorial, the moral standard of living decreases exponentially. It is because of sinful ways, worldliness, and false teachings corrupting conscience.
Society also plays a significant role in shaping the conscience of an individual.
The advancement of living caused by technology had greatly influenced the standard of morality. Case in point, evangelism spreads faster through high-end communication technology. However, the same technology makes listeners much more attentive to their gadgets rather than the sermon.
People only accept what can accommodate their lifestyle, thus devaluing the once esteemed values.
Restoring Evil Conscience
Restoring conscience to its original standard is always possible if the person is committed and convicted to change for the better.
Forgiveness and genuine repentance are the primary steps to restore corrupt moral values. We have to ask forgiveness from God and the people we have offended to clear the mind and heart of any burden of guilt.
10 Commandments On How To Clear Your Conscience
However, restoring corrupted conscience is only one thing; sustaining and keeping it clean and clear is another issue.
The constant threat of negative influence from the world is a great challenge of keeping a clear conscience. The temptation is just lurking around.
The 10 Commandments On How To Clear Your Conscience is a powerful tool for a daily devotion in guarding our conscience:
1 – Thou shalt accept guilt.
The Nature of Guilt
Influential Adventist evangelist Randy Skeete once said, “God frees whom guilt imprisons.”
But what is guilt anyway? Guilt is the sense of responsibility where someone held “too much” accountability for a particular offense. In doing so, it leaves no room for change.
Guilt is a powerful emotion. It had a tremendous effect on all aspects of health.
Also, guilt makes a person stressed. Such a feeling makes the body release stress chemicals that can result in physical symptoms like headaches and backaches.
According to Michael McKee, Ph.D. vice chairman of The Cleveland Clinic’s psychiatry and psychology department, guilt is harmful. From their studies, they found that it contributes to gastrointestinal and cardiovascular diseases. Even the immune system can be significantly affected over time.
Why Should We Accept Guilt and Not Reject It?
A rule of thumb on how to clear conscience is to accept guilt. Admission of sin or guilt is needed for genuine confession. However, rejecting guilt is always catastrophic.
The Bible heroes like David, Paul, and Moses, to name a few, have their unimaginable sin”. Yet, they emerged victorious by accepting guilt, repenting, and claiming God’s deliverance.
Ever wondered why God said, confess and repent rather than regret? Confession allows us to be humble, and repentance points us to God’s grace. Regret only traps us into an endless cycle of guilt, leaving no room for God to enter our hearts.
Are you feeling guilty and undeserving? Do you feel like you should bear all the suffering to bring justice to yourself somehow? Accepting that you’ve sinned is the first step on how to clear your conscience through guilt rejection.
2 – Thou shalt be kind to thyself.
Blaming Yourself Would Do You No Good.
Clearing your conscience must always start with kindness to yourself. A clear conscience and compassion for self are inseparable. Imagine a person with a seemingly good conscience but is easy to blame and punish himself/herself! How ironic would that be?
Being wrong is part of human frailties. Not only because of human imperfections but also of certain limitations our physical body can endure.
Whether a mistake is deliberate or unintentional, never judge thyself promptly and harshly. Our inner self can be our best ally or worst enemy. Being an enemy to self is ridiculous and mentally exhausting. Instead, come to Jesus, and He will give you the peace that you need.
Kindness To Oneself: What It Does?
Have you ever made a mistake, and you beat yourself so hard for it? That’s what Satan wants you to do–to succumb to guilt, self-pity, and self-condemnation every time you sin.
Kindness to self allows someone to make an honest evaluation of oneself. Never let arrogance or pride dictate nor motivate your course of action.
In humble recognition, ask God alone to test you. In 1 Corinthians 4:4, it says, “For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.”
3 – Thou shalt educate the conscience.
What Does An Uneducated Conscience do?
The Hammurabi code was considered as the best justice way back in ancient Babylonians. Today it is still adapted in some cultures with ultra-conservative justice systems and business risk management. The code eye for an eye means an equal penalty based on the offense meant.
But the question remains, is it enough deterrence for an offender? Crime is always a sin. But the varying reasons behind proves that people have a different understanding or standard of conscience.
It only means that acting according to the dictates of the conscience is dangerous if it is not adequately educated. Some uncivilized cultures view killing as part of basic laws. Some religions tolerate discrimination like the Pharisees and Jews in Jesus’ time. All were acting in their “perceived” conscience.
The Main Text Book in Educating The Conscience
Conscience must align with the Word of God. Jesus keeps mentioning that He only acted on the will of His Father. It shows that even Him as a God and lived a perfect life, He still aligned His conscience with that of His father, not on His own.
Martin Luther started a revolution by educating his conscience with God’s Word. How to clear your conscience effectively and efficiently is to educate it by studying God’s word.
4 – Thou shalt not be a hypocrite.
Hypocrisy Amongst Leaders
Once our conscience is biblically educated, we should, by all means, abide by it.
Ever wonder why Jesus had a massive dislike for the Pharisees? It is because of their blatant display of hypocrisy. They claimed to be church leaders and the authority on the doctrines of “faith.” Yet, they fail in all aspects in exemplifying those sacred teachings.
So much so that Jesus’ goodness is a striking blow in their hard-earned self-righteousness and worthless reputation.
Today, politicians are often the target of hypocritical antics. They appear to be “messiahs” before elections by their sweet promises and suddenly gain “amnesia” when elected.
Self-interest and Hypocrisy
Thinkset founder Dr. Erman Misirlisoy believes that self-interest is the driving force behind any hypocrisy. The Pharisees and the politician’s desire for fame and power can be considered valid reasons for their hypocrisy.
Self-interest is not always evil if it is aligned with the will of God. However, any ulterior motive always leads to a dangerous path.
5 – Thou shalt be humble.
The Requisite When Coming to God: Humility
Humility is the foremost requisite when coming to God. Before Jesus came to earth, He humbled Himself. When He called all the Bible heroes, He required them utmost humility before Him.
Practicing humility is one way on how to clear your conscience. The Bible is clear; pride always goes before destruction (Proverbs 16:18).
Even the mighty science preaches humility, although some of its scientists do not. Scientific methods, citations, experiments, and publications, the bottom line science establishes facts in humble consideration of existing theories.
The Importance of Humility
Humility is dependent on God. He who kneels before God can stand to anyone with humility and respect.
The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
God cannot enter a heart full of pride and arrogance. Psychologists say that there is a type of “genuine pride” that can enhance performance. However, the fact that pride is always self-centered and self-serving makes it controversial- spiritually wise.
6 – Thou shalt not divorce love and forgiveness.
Inflicting Self-Pain– What Should We Do Instead?
During the Black Plague in Europe, people resort to beating and hurting themselves to show penance. They thought that their remorseful act might save them from death right before their doorsteps. Many devotees today still practice such acts of hurting the self as devotion.
Holding a grudge to someone is hurting more than beneficial. It only adds insult to your injury.
But choosing forgiveness lightens the load of the heart. It is very ironic and a hypocrite to clear the conscience when there is still a vengeance or grudge.
Though there is no direct scriptural context regarding self-forgiveness does not mean it is unbiblical. The concept of forgiveness from the Old to the New Testament remains the same encompassing self and others.
Love and Forgiveness Cannot Be Divorced.
Forgiveness is an essential component of God’s love and others. We can never love someone without forgiving them. Much more, we cannot love ourselves without forgiving ourselves.
When we ask for forgiveness of our sins, we also commit ourselves never to repeat the offense. How to clear your conscience? Forgive others and yourself as much as you ask for forgiveness.
7 – Thou shalt avoid making excuses.
Excused No More! Say No to Excuses!
Excuses are always detrimental to growth and are always self-serving.
Take it from University of Kansas Professor Charles R. Snyder. He reported that excuses are chronic evasions of responsibility borne of irrational fear. These excuses prevent insights into one’s problems and thus stand as a barrier to healthy personality change.
When our mind is convicted for a change of character for the better, excuses suddenly pop up out of nowhere to tempt us to make a detour or maybe some delaying tactic.
The Polite Way of Not Trying
Excuses are a “polite” method of saying I cannot/will not do that. Laziness and procrastination are its familiar frequent allies.
By whatever means necessary, avoid making excuses, especially those that seek to block progress on spiritual growth. Go to church, read the Bible, study, or engage in a wholesome hobby. The message is to keep moving so that the mind cannot have senseless idle time.
8 -Thou shalt guard thy mind.
The Grand Arena of The Battle Between Good and Evil
The mind is the grand arena for the most significant battle humanity has to face- the good versus evil.
The great controversy between good and evil starts in everyone’s mind. The complex mechanism inside the brain that constitutes the thoughts is what governs someone’s life. Critical decision-making determines the outcome of success or failure.
How Should We Guard Our Minds?
Proverbs 4:23 counsels us to guard our minds, for life flows from it. To protect the mind is to determine what information, imagination, idea, or ideas a person must have. A corrupt mindset has nothing but pure evil output. In contrast, a pure mind brings forth godly individuals.
How should we clear our conscience and guard our minds?
Just follow what Paul says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Philippians 4:8, ESV).
9 – Thou shalt change the habits and routine, leading to repetitive mistakes.
Zaccheus Encounter With Jesus
Zaccheus once had this notorious reputation of being a corrupt tax collector. However, when news of Jesus’s presence in the area, Zaccheus’ infamy had a complete turnaround. Jesus’ words immediately changed Zaccheus’ character! What a stark contrast to the notion that change of character is not an overnight process!
Indeed some sins are out of attention as they became “part” of our ordinary lives. Worse, there are sins we deliberately commit because we are loving doing it. Hence the term darling sins. Unfortunately, we keep making the same mistakes to some extent that morality or conscience must adjust for us.
The Frog Who Loved Heat
Consider the famous story of a frog loving the water unmindful of the heat beneath. The gradual heat makes the frog comfortable, but it was too late for the frog to escape when it reached the boiling point.
The bitter truth is we are very much the same as the frog. We “enjoy” the fruits of our poor decisions and constant bad habits, yet we cannot get out when the consequences pay off.
How to clear your conscience is to summon all courage to admit bad habits and practices. All of these must be cut off and must follow a drastic change.
10 – Thou shalt put God above anything else.
You Will Never Go Wrong By Putting God First
When Jonah tried to escape from God, the Lord sent a storm to bother his conscience for disobeying God. It means we can never run away from God.
We will never go wrong by putting God first. Yet, contradicting His will often would put us into trouble.
What is an essential step in clearing your conscience? Simple. Pray and seek God.
Never Take God Out of The Equation
Keeping the faith is one way of sustaining a clear conscience. The previous nine commandments can be useless when God is taken out of the equation.
A clear conscience stems from the fear of God, the fountain of wisdom.
Only in God’s righteousness through obeying His laws can one have a clear conscience.
A True Story of a Woman Who Yielded to Her Conscience!
Heather Tallchief was the woman who allegedly committed the perfect crime when she stole 3.1 million from an armored car outside a Las Vegas Casino.
However, the world was shocked when the 33-year-old Buffalo native turned herself into police. This after she eluded the police for almost 12 years.
She said that she was tired of being a fugitive and wanted to sell her story to the highest bidder for a book or movie and turn the proceeds over to the armored car company.
Tallchief had been living in the Netherlands all along, working as a maid. She’s free, yet she was imprisoned in guilt by her conscience.
She and Rober Solis, her partner in crime, had a son. The boy is then ten, and Tallchief said that she surrendered for her child’s sake. In an interview witnessed by the New York Times, she said, “I didn’t give my child a normal life, but I think I am on the way to doing that.”
“She is a Seneca Indian. She grew up in Buffalo but has not been back to Buffalo since her high school years”, her attorney Daniel Albregts said in one phone interview.
Tallchief was one of a handful of women to ever be on the FBI’s Most Wanted fugitives in October 1993. She and her boyfriend stole money from an armored car outside the Circus-Circus Casino when she was 21.
Roberto Solis had been still missing, and Tallchief claims that she hasn’t seen Solis in more than ten years.
According to Tallchief’s lawyer, she was tired of having criminal charges hanging over her head and wanted to turn herself in.
The authorities had no idea where she was, not even close to getting her! What made her turn herself in? Her conscience did!
Worth-keeping A Clear Conscience
Keeping a clear conscience does not guarantee a peaceful life here on earth. Proof? Jesus, despite His perfection and a super clear conscience, had been despised by the very people He longed to save.
But why still pursue how to clear your conscience? Nobody is perfect anyway. Is being kind to self and others enough?
Just because nobody is perfect does not mean no one should pursue perfection. By keeping the conscience clear, we are purifying our hearts. Only then can we see God through our pure hearts.
Sure, we may gain or lose loved ones and friends. We may be respected or worst despised as Jesus was.
But the only thing that matters is our relationship with God. We don’t clear our conscience to seek the glory of men.
We stringently follow the methodologies of keeping our conscience clear because we desire to seek those that gain pleasure in the sight of God.
Were your conscience aligned with the standard of God or just out of fear of losing people? Did you find the ten commandments listed above enough to guide you?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!