Guilt. Doubts. Apprehension.
These activities happen incognito, in our minds, in our hearts. When one is torn between acting for or against something, or that a decision has to be made against a dilemma, bear in mind that your conscience is in action.
Humans are gifted with conscience. But what really is a conscience?
Google defines conscience as “a person’s moral sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one’s behavior [n].”
On one hand, during one of my spiritual discussion and review sessions with a friend, we have talked about the importance of training our conscience. And since we are using Bible as our reference for every topic, we have come to understand that the word “conscience” is a Greek word which literally means “co-knowledge, or knowledge with oneself.” [Romans 2:14, 15]
This excellent gift from God acts as an internal judge or a witness for ourselves, a guide that examines our actions, our choices, thereby helping us to execute moral judgments. It can warn us when we are about to make foolish choices, let us feel pain when we have done something wrong [Remain in God’s Love, Chapter 2].
Updated maps and compasses are necessities for travelers then and now. We also use reliable local guides who can best help us navigate an unfamiliar area. Without a reliable compass, a map or a guide, we may lose our focus and time reaching our destination, our goal, in time.
Similarly speaking, it is but important to ensure that we train our conscience properly. No, I am not referring to merely listening to what our heart says because at this stage, one should realize that the heart is treacherous (Jeremiah 17:9) and acting according to “gut feeling” may compromise your decision and act foolishly. Training our conscience requires properly understanding how God feels about our actions, our thoughts because He himself is the examiner of our hearts.
As opposed to what many believes, God knows exactly how we feel and understand that we are mere dust, prone to mistakes and errors. Yet, He made sure that we have all the needed information available for us to learn about His ways, his thoughts and feelings through His Word, the Bible. Therefore, if we intently study what’s written on it, we would fairly understand God’s feelings. If we know how He feels, and adapt His teachings, we are then sincerely training our conscience according to His will.
We err because we are humans, and deciding against a moral dilemma is always a painstaking process to begin with. It is very natural for one to minimize pain as much as possible, specifically, if our decision may compromise our close relationships and reputation. Our Bible-trained conscience will help us pass moral judgments easily and save us with so much pain if we decide foolishly.
At times, we needed to endure pain because we chose an extremely difficult decision which is against our will but according to Bible principles. When faced with such situation, know that God is a God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). He will help us endure and deal with the pain gradually, just like how He helped His people survive the worse during the prophets’ time.
So yes, when in doubt, approach the True God in prayer. When feeling guilt is too much, pour your heart to Him in sincere prayer. When you have apprehension over simple or complex daily decision, ask yourself quickly: how would the True God feel about my decision?
Your sincere answer will determine how strong your moral compass is, and how you will either endure or suffer based on your decision.