At the Mark Twain memorial in Hartford, Connecticut, you will find these words framed: ‘Always do right. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. Truly yours, Mark Twain, New York, February 16, 1901.’
When your conscience is programmed and governed by God’s Word, it will lead you to do the right thing every time. And it’s created by the first lessons you learn about right and wrong; which is why, as a parent, you have the most important job in the world. If you’re never taught those lessons, you fail to develop a conscience. If you’re taught them poorly or incompletely, you develop a stunted conscience. If you override your conscience and refuse to obey its inner voice, you develop a hardened conscience and, over time, you will live your life as if you don’t have one at all. You’ll compromise, cover up, and cut corners to get what you want.
You can’t see a conscience or autopsy one, but you can hear it whispering in your mind and feel it tugging at your heart. And those are the whispers and tugs you must respond to in order to walk in the blessing of God.
Paul said two important things about his conscience:
(1) ‘I myself always strive to have a conscience without offence towards God and men.’ (Acts 24:16 NKJV)
(2) ‘I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.’ Above all, don’t neglect your conscience—it is either healthy or becoming unhealthy. And as it goes, so goes your character, your reputation, and the quality of your life.