March 2, 2023
Volume 27, Number 7
To say that the security system in our church building has been annoying would be an understatement. Since they were installed about 15 years ago, we’ve had to deal with a fire system that has multiple sensors throughout the building. That system is monitored by an agency, and when there is a signal that something may be wrong, we are notified. If the signal is a serious one, the fire department is notified.
The problem is that the system sometimes sends faulty signals. A sensor may stop working, or a power outage may cause an interruption in the service. Though nothing is truly wrong at our building, the phone calls come. I try to be polite each time, but I know that it’s another false alarm.
But what if the problem were of a different nature? Suppose there really was a fire, yet the sensors did not detect heat or smoke; that would be a potentially catastrophic problem. I try to keep this in mind during the annoying false alarm calls – at least we’re being monitored for real problems.
Did you know that God has wired each of us with an internal security system that will alert us to approaching dangers? That system is called a conscience, and the Bible gives us some needed guidance about it.
In Romans 2:15 Paul wrote about how people who don’t even know God have “the work of the law written in their hearts,” and how “their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them.”
We understand that idea. When we have done something we know is wrong, we have pangs of conscience jabbing at our heart, telling us we need to make things right. As we pull out of a parking spot we back into another car and create a dent. Nobody saw us do it, so why not just drive away? Our conscience says, “Leave them a note with your phone number,” and we do what we can to make things right. Without a conscience we wouldn’t even think about that option.
Do we have to submit to the urgings of our conscience? Some don’t, but they do it at a great cost: “Having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck” (1 Timothy 1:19). If you reject the sound of your smoke alarm, you’re taking a great risk, just as you may be taking a risk to ignore the painful thumping of your conscience.
But here’s the big question: Is our conscience properly programmed? In Acts 23:1 Paul declared, “… I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” Paul once regarded Jesus as a fraud and His followers as enemies of God. Did he live in all good conscience while holding those views? That’s what he said. But when he reprogrammed his conscience with truth his actions were entirely different. What a difference the truth makes!
Our consciences can be great assets in helping us make right decisions, but if we’ve not taken time to know God’s word, we may not always do what is right and feel no pain about our sins. Our lifelong challenge is to continue studying and learning (programming) from His word. As we’re doing that, we can feel assured that the alarms sent forth from inside should be taken seriously.
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2023, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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