The human conscience

John 4:18 Jesus said, “you have five husbands”.   

Much is made of the fact that people have a tendency of torturing themselves with guilt.  The approach of the psychologists of our day is to say to a human being, “It’s not your fault”.  This is an attempt to head people away from the dangerous area of self blame, which can lead to self destruction.  Instead, we lead people into denial, which results in buried guilt and  eventually to shallow happiness at best, and deep dysfunction at worst.  It is crucial to understand that the human conscience is a vital part of the human heart. Every human being has a need to be righteous.  One of the worst things for our mental health is to know, deep down, that we are unrighteous – that we do not match up to what we were designed, and therefore, expected to be.

People who encounter the forgiveness of Jesus Christ speak of a great weight being lifted off their shoulders – a weight that, presumably, they didn’t realize was there, until, because of God’s grace, it wasn’t.   The pathway to this experience is simple:  Face your sin, face the love of God, gratefully receive His forgiveness.

This is therapy for a dysfunctional heart.   

Jesus began the process by saying, cutting into a useless conversation about religious practices by saying, “You have had five husbands”.

Suddenly sin was pinpointed, and the opportunity to own it was presented.

This is was pathway to the “well of water springing up into everlasting life”.

The very thing we are most scared of, that is, agreeing with our conscience, the thing that we fear may kill us, is the means by which a person can find eternal life.   The key is in the person who stands before us and asks us to own up to wrong-doing?  Is it the accuser and the would be destroyer of our souls?  Or is it the one who says, like He did to the woman caught in the act of adultery, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more!!”

Prayer:  Lord, help me to confess my sin, in the context of your redeeming grace – grace both to forgive and to transform.

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