1 Timothy 1:1-7, 18-20
Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For
some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result,
their faith has been shipwrecked (v.19).
A man consulted a doctor, “I’ve been misbehaving,
Doc, and my conscience is troubling me,” he
complained. “And you want something that will
strengthen your willpower?” asked the doctor. “Well,
no,” said the fellow. “I was thinking of something that
would weaken my conscience.”
Sometimes we might feel that our conscience is more like
a nuisance than a much-needed guide. When we know
what’s right and what’s wrong, our conscience insists that
we do the right and avoid the wrong. And that may not
always seem expedient or win the world’s applause.
In 1 Timothy, the apostle Paul wrote to instruct his
protégé—who was serving in the great city of Ephesus—
to obediently live out his faith. One of the imperatives he
gave was for Timothy to keep a clear conscience (1:19).
Why was it so important for him to keep a clear
conscience? So that he could cling to his faith in Jesus and
not end up with a shipwrecked faith, Paul explained.
One definition of “faith” is: Forsaking All, I Trust Him.
When we lose our faith in Jesus, instead of clinging to
God we find ourselves grasping for the things of the
world. Life is reduced to merely the physical world. So
we miss out on opportunities to experience the vitality of
a living relationship with God, which comes only by faith
When we shipwreck our faith, like Hymenaeus and
Alexander, we become instruments of evil rather than righteousness. We
undermine God’s teachings and—in the process—defame Him.
When we hear God speaking, we must obey—regardless of what our flesh or
feelings say. That’s the way to keep a clear conscience. If you fail, it’s time for
you to confess, repent, set it straight, and then continue clinging to God by faith.
—Poh Fang Chia
Read 1 Samuel 24:5 to see how your conscience can prevent you from
doing the wrong things. Second Samuel 11 reveals the devastation
that can take place when your conscience is weakened.
How are you striving to maintain a good conscience? What do
you need to bring to God in repentance today?