The Bible says in Romans 2:14-15, “Some people naturally obey the Law’s commands, even though they don’t have the Law. This proves that the conscience is like a law written in the human heart. And it will show whether we are forgiven or condemned” (CEV).
Let’s say we take a random sample of one million people from around the planet, and we ask them a moral question: If you see a 92-year-old woman who’s blind and using a walker and needs to cross a busy intersection, which of these three options is morally right? One, just ignore her. Two, help her cross the street. Or three, push her into oncoming traffic. Those one million people would instinctively know there’s a right thing to do. You don’t have to be a Christian or Jew or Muslim or even a spiritual person to know the right thing to do.
That’s the way God wired our conscience. The Message paraphrases Romans 2:14-15 like this: “They show that God’s law is not something alien, imposed on us from without, but woven into the very fabric of our creation. There is something deep within them that echoes God’s yes and no, right and wrong.”
The problem with conscience is that, of all the sources of finding truth, it is the least reliable, because the Bible teaches us that our conscience can be weakened. It can be warped. It can be hardened. It can be perverted. In fact, it can be killed. I would say somebody like Hitler had a dead conscience. So the more I violate my conscience, the more out of whack it gets. It just gets easier and easier to do the wrong thing. Just because my conscience lets me get away with something doesn’t mean it’s right.
Every person around the world has been hard-wired to know what is right and what’s wrong. The trick is to fill our minds and hearts with God’s truth so that we “echo his yes and no.”
Talk About It
- If people are hard-wired to know the right thing to do, why do you think so many Christians choose to repeatedly do what we know is wrong?
- How do you think a Christian is supposed to react to man-made laws that he or she thinks is wrong?
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