December 5, 2012
Anyone ever ask you if you have scruples? Do you even know what that means, really? The dictionary defines scruples as “a doubt or hesitation that troubles the conscience or that comes from the difficulty of determining whether something is right.” So, if someone asks you if you have scruples they really want to know if you know right from wrong. So do you? I have learned from experience that if you don’t know the truth you will believe a lie. I have also learned that you can know the truth and deliberately ignore it to satisfy your own sinful desires.
Romans 1:18-20 says “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
The Bible packs a pretty good punch saying we can clearly see and are without excuse. And it also calls people wicked and godless those who suppress the truth. That is all well and good when you realize how bad the world has gotten with all the sinful desires and acts that are prevalent. But what about you? Do you classify yourself in this category? Do you act wicked and godless? What do you struggle with that makes you doubt or hesitate and troubles your conscience? Do you look the other way when something is obviously wrong? Do you participate in things that you know is wrong but do it anyway? Are you satisfying your own sinful desires and trying to tiptoe away hoping no one will call what you do sin, not to mention God seeing it?
Maybe you speed knowing that you are breaking the law. Maybe you keep that extra change at the store knowing it doesn’t belong to you. Maybe you are having sex outside of marriage knowing full well that God does not approve. Maybe you just told a “little lie” or a really big one for some selfish reason. Maybe you are around people that are leading you in the wrong direction. What could be clouding your conscience to do the right thing?
We are all clearly sinful, that is a fact. The good news is that God forgives sin. When we humble ourselves and confess our sins God will forgive us and set us on a new path. But, we have to choose to walk that path in the correct direction following God’s ways and His truth. That is not only a day to day process but a moment by moment process. The enemy tempts us constantly to make the wrong decisions. But with God as our strength and our power we can resist that temptation.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
So how do you keep a clear conscience and have scruples? You must first know what truth is. We learn that by studying God’s Word. And we have to train just as a runner does for the race. That means constantly training, not just to read it sometimes. If a runner runs only a little here and there he will not have built up the endurance he needs to run a successful race. We too, need endurance to run this spiritual and moral race of life. When moral dilemmas are presented to us we must know how to respond and how to resist. And the more we resist the easier it becomes. Oh, we will still be tempted. That is a fact. However, the more we practice resistance the more commonplace it will become. Then we will be able to stand against evil.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:10-17
So let me ask you again. Do you have scruples and a clear conscience? Strive today to resist evil and walk the path of righteousness. Get into God’s word and find out how to live. And keep reading and resisting and live a righteousness life so no one will ever have to ask you if you have scruples. Live your life in such a way that people know without a doubt where you stand.