Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace. For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that, as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus. 2 Corinthians 1:12-14
There is a saying, “let your conscience be your guide.” The Apostle Paul was confident in declaring that he had lived his life before God with integrity. He based this on his conscience guided by God’s wisdom. God provided each one with conscience to help in making decision being able to discern between what is morally right from wrong. This is a gift from God so that individuals could avoid making wrong decisions and reap disastrous consequences. Our conscience will serve as spiritual radar. It has the ability to provide clear direction. But in order for it to provide direction that glorifies God, it should be fed with the things of God. For Paul, it is to be strengthened by the grace of God and not worldly wisdom. “We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.” The only way it could follow God’s will consistently is when it is open and transparent before God. Unconfessed sin can prevent it from functioning the way God wanted it to work. It can only be restored by coming to God in honest confession (see 1 John 1:9). When we allow our own standard in determining right or wrong we will fail to understand God’s righteousness. If we persist on living life relying on our self-righteousness by doing things our own way, we will lose sight of what is suitable and true before God. A tainted conscience will become insensitive to sin. And when we disregard God’s prodding, we will become numb to moral warnings and will continually give-in to selfish and sinful desires. Unless we begin to allow His wisdom and grace guide our conscience, we will not have clarity on how to live the life that pleases God. This will hinder our opportunity to conduct ourselves with “integrity and godly sincerity” to the world around us. Let God show you how well your conscience works, your internal guide and when He redirects it, be obedient and let Him restore it His way. Once you do this, like Paul, you can claim that your actions were the result of God’s working in your life.
Noel De Guzman