A few years ago in a suburban home in Cincinnati, Ohio, five boys played a game. Each took a turn with a handgun one of the boys had taken from a locked gun cabinet. Each spun the cylinder, placed the gun to his head, and pulled the trigger. They thought the gun was unloaded. They thought they were playing a harmless game. What the boys didn't realize was that the gun wasn't empty.
Within minutes, a fourteen year old boy lay fatally wounded as his friends frantically called 911 in an effort to save his life. Their efforts failed.
While most of us would never consider participating in a game of Russian roulette, there are some who play a form of spiritual roulette. Each time they make a bad decision, it's another spin of the cylinder. Each time they choose wrong over right, it's another pull of the trigger.
Too often we rationalize our behavior by telling ourselves, "If I do this just once, it won't hurt me." The second time we say, "Well, it didn't hurt the first time, so it must be OK to do it again." And so the sin repeats itself-over and over and over until the sin we thought was harmless turns destructive, and our consciences die.
It is possible for a person's conscience to die. When you continually dismiss those stabs of regret, when you push aside the feeling that you're making the wrong choices, when you disobey God over and over again, your conscience begins to harden until finally it just shrivels up and dies.
God has given you a precious warning system like a smoke alarm or an air raid siren that's designed to protect you and help you make right choices. It's your conscience. Take good care of it.
REFLECT: What is "spiritual roulette"? Have you ever played it with your conscience? What were the consequences? Perhaps there is a sin in your life that you keep committing over and over that has desensitized you or made you feel distant from God. How can you take care of your conscience and keep it sharp and useful?
PRAY: "God, help me not to play 'spiritual roulette' with my conscience. Keep me alert to the voice of my conscience. Make me sensitive to sin. And help me repent when I disobey you."