How To Keep a Clean Conscience
Remember when you were a child and you knew you had done something wrong and your parents confronted you about it? It didn’t matter what you said, they could tell when you were lying because you couldn’t look them in the eye! In the book of Acts chapters 23-24, the Apostle Paul has to defend himself against accusers who were trying to stop him from sharing the gospel, even to the point of wanting him killed. In these chapters we see what it takes to live with a clean conscience.
As Paul defends himself to his accusers, he refers to his conscience… Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” Acts 23:1. For Paul, keeping a good, clean conscience was essential and it should be for us too, for lots of reasons!
Maybe you’re struggling with a conscience that is not so good these days. Maybe you haven’t been fulfilling your “duty to God” and it’s weighing heavily on your heart, your mind and your conscience. Or maybe you know it’s important to maintain a clean conscience and you really want to know more about how to do that.
A good, clean conscience has lots of benefits for us physically, emotionally, and spiritually! A good conscience helps you sleep well at night; keeps your blood pressure down; removes excessive stress and anxiety; and most of all, draws you near to God!
So, how can we keep our conscience clean?
1) Live with integrity and godly sincerity! (Acts 23:1; 2 Corinthians 1:12)
Do what you say…. (Matthew 5:37) Say what you mean and mean what you say! Keep your word. If you say you’re going to do something, do it!
Act after you pray… (Matthew 26:41) Avoid impulsive, rash decisions and actions. Be contemplative, pray, and always seek God’s guidance.
Honor God all day… (Micah 6:8) Honor God every part of every day!
2) Stand firm despite harsh opposition. (Acts 23:2)
Paul had to defend himself to what historians call a cruel and corrupt “high priest.” We face corruption from a very real enemy at every turn in our world. So what can we do? Pray! And, put on the full armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-16).
3) Own it when you blow it! (Acts 23:3-5)
Paul recognized quickly, almost as soon as the words left his mouth that, even though what he said was true, he shouldn’t have said it. By owning his outburst, Paul took the high road and kept his conscience clean. It was a move that reflected integrity and godly sincerity. In the process, Paul made an impression and left a mark for Jesus Christ with those there who did not yet believe. And we can too! When you blow it, admit it, apologize for it, learn from it and most importantly, turn from it (repent).
For much more, including what happened in the rest of Acts 23-24, click here to listen to: Multiply - Part 19 - How to Keep My Conscience Clean.