I confess – yesterday I went through the ‘Ten items or less checkout’ with twelve items. It is very unlike me to do something so terrible – as I counted the items coming through I felt terrible. No one was behind me in the queue and my faux pas was not intentional – yet I felt bad, I even though of abandoning some items. I have mentioned before that I have an overactive conscience. Yet I have come realised that it is not that my conscience is over active, it is actually out of tune. I get bothered by the breaking of rules – especially when there can be consequences such as fines, or people looking at me badly. Yet when it comes to breaking other ‘rules’ or standards where the consequences are not so noticeable my conscience does not kick in in the same way.
It is funny how I am a stickler for the ‘ten item or less’ rules yet it doesn’t bother me so much to tell a ‘white lie’, to over indulge, to gossip. It seems that in my dysfunctional conscience the rules that can be punished as more important than the ones that disappoint God. It is a scary thought as it is precisely what Jesus realised the Pharisees were doing:
Matthew 23:2-7 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. 5 “Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them “Rabbi.’
Yet God calls us to a deeper faith than just appearance. He calls us to holiness, not just good living.
1 Peter 1:14-16 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Lord, I ask you to help me care more about what You think than about what others think. I pray that You will transform my dysfunctional conscience by Your Holy Spirit so that I will develop a true dislike of sin and a yearning for holiness.