Today’s Scripture: Job 24-28
My children love the Disney classics–Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Cinderella, Mary Poppins, etc. One of my personal favorites is the 1940 film by Walt Disney, “Pinocchio.” The film is about an old wood carver who who carves a wooden puppet that is brought to life. Pinocchio the puppet is told that he can become a real boy if he proves himself to be true and faithful and must always listen to his conscience. Not understanding what a conscience is, Pinocchio is aided by Jiminy Cricket who vows to be the voice of his conscience. Jiminy tells the puppet, “Simply let your conscience be your guide!” On one occasion, Pinocchio tries to lie his way out of trouble, much to the chagrin of Cricket. In so doing, Pinocchio’s nose grows extremely long. It taught him a valuable lesson in the area of integrity and listening to his conscience.
In Job 27:6, Job declares, “I will maintain my innocence without wavering. My conscience is clear for as long as I live.” Job knew the blessing of a clear conscience. Though he was surrounded by friends who accused him of sin, Job maintained his integrity and knew that his life was clean before God. He was suffering for reasons that were unknown to him. God had allowed Job to suffer not because of sin in his life, but because of his integrity. He knew that Job would faithfully pass the test and shame the devil. Without any pain in our life, there can be no growth in Christ-likeness. It is only through the fire of adversity that our lives are purified. A silversmith will bring melted silver to its boiling point in order to remove impurities. It is only when the silversmith sees his reflection in the silver that he knows his silver is pure and ready to be poured into circulation. In a similar way, we often struggle for reasons that are unknown to us but are never unknown to God.
Sometimes, we struggle because of sinful choices we have made. There have been times in my life when I have said something hurtful to someone out of anger. The presence of the Holy Spirit within me troubled my conscience and I could not find any peace until I made things right. Whenever we are struggling because of some area of sin in our life, God’s Spirit will convict and trouble our conscience so that we may seek Christ’s forgiveness. Your conscience is a friend to you! But did you know that you can wound your conscience? The Bible speaks of those whose conscience is “seared” and all feeling is removed. Each time you sin against your conscience, you become more and more insensitive. This leads to spiritual callousness. Believers, however, ought to possess a tender heart and a sensitive conscience.
So, can you say with Job, “My conscience is clear?” Are you right with your spouse? Are things right between you and your brother? Are there any hidden areas of sin in your life that have been swept under the rug? Listen to the voice of God’s Spirit as He is speaking to your conscience. Humble yourself, make things right, and enjoy the blessing of a clear conscience! Jesus is full of grace. The Bible says that He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
“Lord, thank You for loving us so much so that You rebuke us when we are in the wrong. Though sometimes we suffer because of reasons unknown to us, never do we suffer because of reasons unknown to You. Sometimes we experience pain as the result of a convicted conscience. Thank You for the peace that comes from repentance and knowing our sins are covered by the blood of Christ! Amen.”