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A Clear Conscience - It's Worth Fighting For!
A Christian must take several practical steps in order to obtain and maintain a clear conscience.
Are there certain areas of persistent weakness and failure in your daily walk with God? In the 6th of 19 articles on guilt resolution, Dr. Don Dunlap encourages readers to consider developing a practical plan for consistent righteousness. He suggests that Christians flee temptation, avoid all appearance of evil, put on the armor of God and become accountable to other Christians for their thoughts, words and actions.
Once we decide to establish the goal of maintaining a clear conscience before God and man, we must be prepared to fight an ongoing battle with the enemies of self-justification, rationalization and pride. We should also understand that Satan would delight in luring us into complacency with his recycled, age-old question,
Has God really said that we must maintain a completely clear conscience?
There are several practical steps that we should take in order to obtain and maintain a conscience that is void of offense toward God and our fellow man.
First, we should identify any areas of recurring sin in our lives.
This series of articles includes several checklists, which are provided as practical evaluation tools to help readers specifically identify these areas of sin.
We must ask God to forgive us for our offenses against Him. We should also begin to memorize Scripture.
The second step is to express genuine repentance to God for any persistent sins that we have allowed to enter into our lives.
The writer of James 4:8-10 instructs us,
Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Next, we ought to utilize the effective spiritual weapon of scripture memorization. We should commit to memory the key scriptures that are related to our particular sin problems.
God wants us to trust Him one day at a time. Worrying is a sin.
As we learn to live - one day at a time - we pray for the grace to resist temptation today. Jesus commands us in Matthew 6 not to worry about tomorrow because each day has enough trouble of its own.
When we think about the recurring sins in our lives we begin to work through biblical solutions to avoid repeatedly falling into the same ditch. God has given us His Word in order to equip us for every good work.
Every Christian needs to be accountable to other Christians.
We can reinforce our wills by a bond of accountability. This is one of the most powerful ways for a Christian to conquer temptation. We read in James 5:16,
Confess your sins to one another so that you may be healed. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
We should seek out a trustworthy Christian and ask if we may make ourselves accountable to him or her for a certain length of time. We ask him or her to commit to pray for us regularly. Then we mutually decide upon a time when we may briefly check in with him or her on a daily basis.
Biblical repentance requires us not only to turn away from sin, but also to walk in the opposite direction of that sin habit. We must remember that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. If we tell ourselves that we will do something we have only ourselves to answer to. But if we tell someone else what we are going to do, we double our accountability and we increase our chances to succeed in turning away from besetting sins.