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Conscience - why were we created with it?

Create in me a clean heart, O God; restore within me a sense of being brand new.  Do not throw me far away from Your presence, and do not remove Your Holy Spirit from me.  Give back to me the deep delight of being saved by You;  let Your willing Spirit sustain me. (Psalm 51:10-12 VOICE)

Sin creates a "void" in our lives - a palpable void that yearns for what has been lost and agonizes over the turmoil it creates. There is no escaping the sense of "uncleanness" which envelopes the inner man, because it is that sense which draws us into places of deep and meaningful confession, repentance, and restoration!  Did you ever stop to think why God made man with a conscience? We could have been created with that portion of our thinking / sensing / intellect being left out of the equation, you know. I kind of think an animal such as a lion doesn't have much of a conscience, simply because they wouldn't be able to pounce on an innocent young animal or an aged older one as their next meal and walk away smacking their lips if they did! Man is created to "sense" the "void" created when we do what God has declared will bring harm into our lives, is clearly off-limits for us, or is just not beneficial to our overall emotional or spiritual well-being. To deny this sense for too long is to sink deeper and deeper into a pit of guilt and despair, leaving the body, mind, and spirit ravaged.

No wonder our psalmist asks God to create in him a "sense" of being brand new - as though the sin didn't ever exist and the effects of it never embraced the depths of his being. In essence, we sense this "void" as though we were no longer "useful" in God's hands - so as David cried out so long ago, we join in that plea to God to be taken back from the "discard pile".  Sin not only creates a deep sense of void, it also leaves us feeling "unworthy" or "of no further value" in our relationship with Jesus. It separates us much like a really heated argument in which tempers flare and ego takes center stage in relationship will send two individuals to their respective "corners" to sulk and stew about whatever it was that caused the riff in the first place. It drives a wedge between us and there we begin to drift apart, not really content to do so, but kind of too reliant upon our egos to admit our fault or failure.

As David finishes this plea, his words are more than musings in the dark of night. His words are telling evidence of a heart broken, separated, with dawning awareness of just how far his sin has taken him into the depths of despair and "loneliness".  What sin has taken away, he desires to have back. The distance sin has created he desires to have removed. Inside he aches for restoration - outside his body is showing evidence of the effects of the sin. His physical framework cannot support the strain of what his emotions, thoughts, and conscience have been wrestling with for way too long. Sin creates a "sense void", but it also carries a very physical pain with it. We cannot escape the "effects" of sin until we escape sin!

Our conscience may just be the one thing that helps us recognize the void and turn again to the one from whom we have been estranged through our sinful deeds. It may just be the very thing that begins to help us sense the pain of sin so that we desire deliverance from it. I don't know if that is why God created us with a conscience, but I am grateful he did - because without it, there is no telling where I'd be today!  Just sayin!


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