IT SEEMS ODD at this time in our history—when corruption, bullying, and lies seem to rule our nation and so many other nations—to suggest we should ignore our conscience.
But one of the Bible writers says there’s a time for doing just that.
It caught me by surprise when I read it yesterday.
I was working my way through paraphrasing 1 John 3 for the Casual English Bible, when I reached verse 18.
I subtitled that part of the chapter “Our conscience isn’t always right.”
And here’s how I paraphrased verses 18-21:
“Dear children, don’t show others you love them by giving them a speech or by offering a few kind words. Put your love in action so they’ll know it’s true love.
That’s how we’ll know we’ve got it right, and we’re guided by truth. And that’s why our conscience can relax in God’s presence.
Our conscience might condemn us from time to time. But God knows more than our conscience does. He knows everything. So, relax and be at peace.
Once we assure our conscience, it stops condemning us. Then we can come to God with confidence.”
I think the writer is talking to nervous Christians who are nagged by guilt for a variety of reasons.
- Maybe they did something so terrible they don’t feel God would ever forgive them and make them feel clean again.
- Maybe they were raised by damaged souls to become part of a new generation of damaged souls.
- Maybe their brain chemistry took a left turn at common sense and needs a GPS and front-end alignment.
I generally trust the voice inside my head. But the Good Voice isn’t the only one in there.
I don’t know how to tell an Evil Voice from my own humanity talking to itself, trying to convince me that something bad is good or something about me that’s good isn’t authentic.
But what I do believe is this. If we embrace Jesus and his teachings, which include doing our best to love others, we’re in good standing with God. No matter what our conscience says.
What do you think about that?
Casual English Bible Atlas
Heads up, for those who missed it.
I have packaged all the high resolution maps I’ve created for the Casual English Bible into one huge PDF download…over 300 pages and over 350 MB. As I create maps for the remaining New Testament books and then books in the Old Testament, I’ll make updates freely available for downloading. No extra cost for the rest of the Bible.
I’ve posted them for sale at $34, which is half of what a person would pay when buying them one Bible book set at a time.
But I’ve tagged the first 100 copies to sell for $25 each.
I’m not spreading this price point around. I’m releasing it to my blog readers and to readers of the Casual English Bible. But I’m not going to promote this price beyond you folks who have helped sustain me by buying my books and keeping me in your thoughts and prayers.