Freedom From Our Conscience

Monday, November 2, 2015
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Listen while you read: "O That Will Be Glory"1 (Lyrics)

Proverbs 10:2 – Ill-gotten treasures profit nothing but justice saves from death. (NABRE)

Ephesians: 4:28 – The thief must no longer steal, but rather labor, doing honest work with his [own] hands, so that he may have something to share with one in need. (NABRE)

Sometimes, we happen upon valuable lessons. Bless the Lord that He sends them to us. A case in point: I inadvertently took something home from the store that did not belong to me: a packet of aspirins. I had fully intended to pay for it, but found it in my shopping bag at home and could not find it listed among the items on my bill. Wow! That was an easy win, I thought. I didn't even try to steal it, but I ended up with it anyway. A few days went by, and I ruminated about it. My conscience was hounding me. I reasoned that I had not tried to take it without paying, therefore it was not my fault. As much as this sounded good to me, my conscience continually said No! Yes — you guessed it — I finally had to go back to the store with my bill and explain the oversight that had happened. I was praised for my honesty, but that did not release me from my guilty feelings. You see, I knew my intentions when I had discovered the error, and I was willing to sit on it for a few days, arguing back and forth with myself. I thank my mom's upbringing for making me finally do the right thing.

Freedom of conscience: how good it is! In these last few years, I have heard it said that we should not apologize for anything or be responsible. Life is different now, we tell ourselves. If taking supplies from work beguiles us, we justify it by saying, Well, I work hard enough around here, and they surely owe it to me. We live in a world where wrong is right and right is wrong. Where do we draw the line today? Do we invent a new way of thinking about things and go further down the line of deceit? Do we tell ourselves that it is okay because everyone else does it? Can we really look ourselves in the eye and think that it is all right? Someone has to pay for it. How does self-justification in our breaking of the eighth commandment — "Thou shalt not steal" — inspire us to improve any bad habits that we may have? Does this invariably lead to breaking other rules without compunction? How far will we go once our conscience is dulled? What do others think of our actions?

When our children lie or steal, do we overlook it, or do we ask them to correct those errors and make an effort to be better in the future? Is honesty something that we believe in for their lives, or is it just for when they lie to or steal from us? Let us examine our own thoughts and see which it is. Have we given them this bad example? Have they heard us tell "little white lies" to our bosses or to our friends? I am sure that I have been guilty of this in the past, and yet I, as a mother, would be quick to correct my children, pointing out to them how wrong it is. It seems to be comfortable to correct someone else.

Having accountability or boundaries gives us a clear path to follow and will stand us in good stead when temptation comes near. Oh yes, we all have temptations coming at us. Sometimes, we fail, but we always have an opportunity to win against them. Conquering temptations makes us stronger and more able to overcome them. Flexing moral muscles is what our God helps us to do. Thank You, God!

Prayer: Dear Lord, please continue to enable us to improve our way of living and our way of being examples to others in this life. We want to please You and to help each other always to be in Your good favour. Help us when we are weak. We depend on Your mercy and Your assistance to be better creations. Amen.

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About the author:

Marilyn LaPierre <>
Innisfil, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wise words Marilyn.

    Yes. So True.

    Thank you Marilyn for sharing this reminder to walk our talk through conscientious living.

    Hi Marilyn,
    Just read your devotion. We all are tempted and as you say we ask ourselves should we or should we not. We wrestle with ourselves but hopefully we do the right thing as you did.
    Well written.
    I will pray that your new venture will be successful.

    Wonderful story Marilyn, It gives all of us a good feeling when we do the right thing. We taught all of our children early in life that we do NOT take anything that does not belong to them, and now, we are very proud of them for being honest adults. A little effort early in life goes a long way as they get older.
    God Bless you for doing the right thing.

    Dear Marilyn:
    How very true are your words. I think at one time or another a lot of us have dealt with finding something we have not paid for in our bags when we got home. I know I did and, like you, I had to return it because I knew it was wrong to keep it.
    I truly pray that with God’s help, the world will see the error of its ways and realize that greed and selfishness are not the way to go.
    God bless you.

    You are so right, Marilyn. For us, as believers, honesty is the power of the Holy Spirit in us, even if it takes days to convince us of our error.
    As a nation, we tend to emulate our administration, weather in personal affairs or business. If our example is lax in honesty, and grey areas are acceptable, citizens of the nation allow themselves to justify a lesser standard. But like Ruth and Boaz, in our small world, in our neighborhood, in our walk, let us choose a higher standard. Thank you for the reminder.
    May God be your strength.

    Marilyn, Good message. But not to belittle your thoughts; I related this moral strength for a different aspect of life. In the last few months, with medical support which I shall give much credit, I was able to gradually shed over 30 lbs. Still feel I have a few lbs. to go & then maintain that level. That is another example of mental strength which gives much benefit.
    One must support one with the other somehow. Couldn’t resist sharing this thought. Thanks for our “lesson” of the day, much appreciated.

    Well I must say if they put something through a few cents less than it should be, because on the same bill I often find I am overcharged for an advertised special and that one really annoys me, as I went to buy something because it was advertised. But if somebody (not the check out person) does not program the computer properly then we, the consumer, are not charged properly. So because of that short difference I probably do nothing. I do not know how you get out of any store today without paying as beepers go. You go back and they go over the receipt to see what was missed.
    I remember many years ago when our kids were young they were each getting something and they each had the item in their hand. I checked out heading out of the store (today the beepers would have gone) but I realized I had not paid. When I went back the check out person knew she also had done wrong but said asked why, since we got past, did we go back and right in front of the kids. I just said that that is no way to reach kids. But those same kids grew up to work part time in that same store. They had a reputation for being good kids and are now good adults.

    Well said, Marilyn.
    The more we realize the perfect forgiveness of Jesus Christ for our dishonesty, etc., the more we will be ashamed of doing what he does not approve of.
    We love him because he first loved us and gave himself to be the full sacrifice for our sins. In appreciation for his full pardon of our sins we thank him for his 100{8395b6ce96fcf25a14d80edc3b65c36a8995b6c1ba5f8c16ac11d8adaa79f35b} grace, and pray for strength to stand up for what he stands up for.
    Keep writing.

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