It lurks in the background, quietly forgotten. A victim of choices deliberately made, in spite of the warnings, the pleading, the searing pain of violation. It is the conscience. At one time it spoke clearly and lovingly, warning of evil, pointing toward righteousness. But one choice at a time, one moment of pleasure or self-indulgence at a time, it slowly lost its voice, this conscience. It slowly was forgotten, a supposed relic of a forgotten innocence. Its voice mirrored that of mom, who pointed toward Christ. It reflected dad, who taught right from wrong. It echoed the many people who God placed in our paths, sunday school teachers, grandparents, friends of the family, anyone who played a part in forming our character by teaching us about Jesus. Yet when choices were made in deliberate contradiction to the conscience, the burning pain of searing occurred, causing a loss of sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and a forgetfulness of the voice of the Good Shepherd. We attempted to justify our perceived freedom from moral constraint by appealing to greater social awareness, of throwing off the shackles of burdensome religious expectations, of leaving behind the prudish moral expectations of the church of our childhood for a broader world. And we wonder. What now? What next?
Somewhere deep under the surface of our layered veneer, the conscience remains. Apparently dormant, but not completely. It awaits the invitation to be awakened once again. It longs to burn the chaff of willfullness which veils its brilliant love for our lives. It desires to re-sensitize our ears and hearts to the Good Shepherd, so that once again we may hear his voice and obey his will, rather than choosing our own. And when that day arrives, we will be welcomed home with great rejoicing, the prodigal returned to the only inheritance that truly matters.
Does this ring true for you? Is your conscience seared, yet still present someplace in the deep places of your heart? God is not finished with you. Are you finished with him? With the church? With life? Please feel free to contact me via email. I will gladly pray for you and discuss this further with you.