What is our conscience and should we trust it?
OXFORD DICTIONARY – Conscience: an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior.
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God,” Romans 8:14 (NIV)
“So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man,” Acts 24:16 (NIV)
God speaks to us through our heart. The voice of our heart is our conscience. Our conscience will alert us when there is something we shouldn’t do. It will also alert us when it is okay or the right thing to do. The Bible says that our conscience is a “still small voice.” Our conscience is an inner voice. Our conscience is the voice inside of us that tells us right from wrong.
It is vital that we teach our children to follow their conscience, to listen to their inward witness.
Every person, including children, has a conscience and know right from wrong.
Many times kids don’t know how to listen to their inward witness, so they don’t know how to make good decisions. It leaves the child always wanting to check with mom or dad about what to do. It can be as simple as, “What to eat at a restaurant,” to “Should they spend the night at a friend’s home?”
When a child says, “My mom won’t let me watch that movie,” that tells me that he is still depending on mom to make decisions. A child is beginning to grow up spiritually when he can say, “I don’t won’t to watch that movie because it’s not good for me.”
We want to give our children confidence to hear from God for themselves. Our conscience is our friend not our enemy.
An alarm is one way that I have used to illustrate this to kids. Alarms are everywhere to alert us – on our phones, in our kitchen and in cars.
- Alarm clocks – wakes us up
- Microwave Timers – tells us when our food is cooked
- Cars – Makes sure all seatbelts are buckled
These alerts help us every day. We have in us our own built-in alert system in our spirit man. It is our conscience or the inward witness.
Here is another illustration you can download and use at home: STOP & GO
If we get a bad, yucky feeling about something we are thinking of doing, that is our conscience telling us not to do it. And if we get a warm, peaceful feeling, that is our conscience telling us to move ahead.
- How can kids know for sure what God wants them to do?
- How can kids know what is the right choice when faced with a decision?
Teach them to listen to their conscience, listen to their heart. It always knows the right choice. By doing this, kids will make good choices.
We have written a curriculum that teaches kids how to listen to their heart and how to make good choices called Finding God.