Clear Conscience

Clear Conscience: To Have a Clear Conscience During Lent
2 Timothy 1:3-5  |  Bro. Seve Adigun

To second guess is human. To listen is divine.

Having a clear conscience means that there is an alignment between your head, the center of your consciousness, and your heart, the root of your emotions. Having a clear conscience is to be clear in your thoughts and actions. It is the ability to make sound decisions without second-guessing yourself or doubting why such decisions should be made in the first place. A clear conscience equals a clear heart.

Too often we second guess ourselves right out of our blessings. It’s usually because we aren’t listening to our head, our inner being. It is when our consciousness, our inner being, is conflicted or at unrest, that we begin to make decisions that are usually to our detriment. When we think, act, or speak without a clear conscience, without understanding and accepting responsibility for the results of having an unclear conscience, we tend to either regret our actions or words, or we continue to make the same decisions with the same results.

To second guess is human. To listen is divine.

Why does having a clear conscience matter during lent? Who cares? Let’s examine our daily message to gain some insight. Our scripture (2 Timothy, 1:3-5) addresses having a clear conscience. The history of the book of 2nd Timothy finds its writer, Paul, imprisoned and writing to one of his congregants, Timothy. Paul is aware that his own life is close to its end, and he is pouring into Timothy for him remain steadfast to Christ’s teaching.

Even as Paul recognizes his certain demise, he remains clear in conscience so that others might keep the faith: 3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

In the 4th and 5th verses, we see Paul lamenting from prison in hopes that he might rejoin his congregation. Again, he has been imprisoned by the Roman government. His outlook for his own life was beginning to fade.

He reassures Timothy that his faith is good and righteous because Timothy was raised well by his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois. Even as death loomed, Paul maintained a clear conscience to motivate his friend and not focus on his own despair or question the mission that he had undertaken.

Foremost is Paul’s understanding of the source of his reverence, the God of Israel. “I thank God, whom I serve…” He notes in the first sentence that it is the God of his “ancestors” to which his homage is directed. Paul could have easily questioned his commitment to his mission. He was lonely and in prison. While he is reflective throughout the rest of the text, he is mindful of remaining God-centered (clear in conscience) throughout his struggle.
To second guess is human. To listen is divine.

So, how do we apply Paul’s intent to speak and act with a clear conscience during the certain struggles throughout the Lenten season? As we have discussed, Lent is the part of the Christian calendar when we Christians overtly forgo things of pleasure or comfort for 40-days similar to Jesus’ 40-day experience in the wilderness after his baptism where he fasted and confronted the temptations of Satan.

Jesus could have easily given in to any of Satan’s persuasions. Jesus recognized his need to resist those things that seemed to come too easily or might have miraculously made everything better. His desires to put aside his sacrifice were just as human as those things that we today face every day. Sacrifice is not undertaken out of remorse or conflict within oneself. It should be met with a clear heart and thus a clear conscience.

To second guess is human. To listen is divine.

We can conclude this from Paul’s missive as well. Even as Paul recognized his undoubted demise, he functioned with the same clear conscience that he portrayed to his congregants before his imprisonment.

When we choose to accept sacrifice, when we make the conscience decision to go without, or even push ourselves to do those things that might make us better, we should make those decisions with a clear conscience so that our heart can be at peace with the decisions that we ultimately rest upon.
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