You are surrounded with warning systems.
Chances are, your family car has several warning systems that will alert you to the fact that your seat belt isn't fastened, the headlights are on, the keys are still in the ignition, the door is ajar. It's even possible to equip a car to emit a loud, annoying sound if the speed exceeds a certain level (say, fifty-five miles per hour).
There may be smoke detectors in your house that will beep loudly if their sensors detect the presence of smoke in the air. The electrical circuits in your house probably have fuses or circuit breakers that prevent the wires from getting too hot. Some homes have burglar alarms that will activate lights and sirens if a door or window is disturbed.
A school bus has more flashing lights than an alien spaceship. Railroad crossings are equipped with flashing lights, clanging bells, and barricades that block the road. Garbage trucks use loud beeps to warn you that the vehicle is backing up.
Such alarms and warning systems are all around you. And inside you.
That's right, inside you. You have a "personal warning system" of your own. Oh, it won't beep if you forget your homework, nor will it flash bright lights if you sit in Bruno the Bully's seat in the school cafeteria. But you do have one. Everyone does.
Your personal warning system is called a conscience. It emits a silent "beep" in your soul when you're thinking of doing wrong. Like any alarm, you can ignore it. But if you repeatedly do wrong in spite of its warnings, your conscience does you no more good than a disconnected burglar alarm or a smoke alarm without a battery. In fact, just like those things, it can even cause disastrous consequences.
But there's nothing better than a fully operational conscience especially when it's clear. Scripture urges you to keep it that way: "Cling tightly to your faith in Christ, and always keep your conscience clear" (1 Timothy 1:19). A clear conscience will not only help you sleep better, it will help you enjoy life better, because a clear conscience is a source of joy to the soul.
REFLECT: In today's Bible reading, Paul told the Christians in Corinth that he had a clear conscience about his dealings with them. What kinds of good things resulted from his clear conscience?
Do you have a clear conscience? If not, confess whatever sin is on your heart, ask God to forgive you, and accept his forgiveness. You may also have to make restitution to anyone you've wronged.
ACT: The next time you pick up a glass of water to drink, notice how clear it is, and pray a silent prayer that God will help you keep your conscience clear.
PRAY: "God, I know my conscience won't be effective if I ignore its warning about...
Help me cling to the faith I have in Christ and do my part to keep my conscience clear."