“Conscience is like a compass. If a compass is faulty, you’ll quickly get off course. ” -Charles Swindoll
Why did some runners cheat during a race?
– out of necessity?
– peer pressure?
– afraid of losing or being dominated by another runner?
Maybe, all of the above are correct. Maybe not. Whatever reasons, those cheaters have one thing in common -vile conscience.
Built into our nature is an internal judicial system, the conscience, that commends us when we do right and condemns us when we do wrong. But this vital monitor of morality does not say the same thing to everyone. In some cultures vengeful killing is seen as honorable. In others, a person is still considered good even when he betrays a friend.
A story from The Philadelphia Inquirer illustrates this problem. A 12-year old boy was caught stealing a watch. He told police that previously he had shoplifted a gift for his mother, and he felt he had to do the same for his dad. Although troubled about slighting his father, he had no qualms in stealing.
A runner who cheats will do the same thing over and over again because his conscience is not right. However, he will reap the consequence of his wrongdoings for the rest of his life, for his conscience will haunt him. I knew a runner who is selling all his 42k medals at any cost. He got majority of them by cheating and so he had no joy treasuring them. Every time he sees those medals, it only remind him of his dirty tactics and abominable style, so why keep it?
A conscience gets its signals from the heart, which can be dulled, hardened, calloused. Furthermore, a conscience can be overly sensitive or can even drive one mad.
Because of sin, conscience is unreliable and needs a continual adjustment. This begins with a right relationship to God.
It does not only apply in running, but in daily living as well.
‘Let your conscience be your guide’ is valid only if God’s WORD is guiding your conscience.
God be Praised!