God's Guiding Word

Trudy Maassen Vander Haar

READ : Psalm 119:9-16

Little Emilie was having fun throwing her tape recorder down a flight of stairs. When reprimanded, she said, “I made a mistake, Mommie.” After a third throw and a third “I just make a mistake, Mommie,” her mother pointed out the difference between deliberate action and a mistake. We found the three-year-old amusing, but what about the seventeen-year-old who last year shot four family members and then calmly announced, “I’ve had a bad day”?

It makes me wonder what has happened to our individual and our collective conscience. I am disturbed by what I see as a trend to excuse criminal acts because of some supposed earlier injustice to the criminal. Are you also disturbed by this and by jurors who seem to find it impossible to hold people responsible for their actions? It is easy to fall into the trap of making excuses for ourselves. We do this as individuals and as churches. Anything goes! Someone defined conscience as: “a little three-cornered thing inside of me. When I do wrong it turns around and hurts me very much. But if I keep doing wrong, it will turn so much that the corners become worn off and it does not hurt me anymore.”

Christians sometimes suffer from false guilt, but we also need our consciences sharpened. God’s Word can do this.


Thank You, Lord, for Your love which forgives and also instructs and corrects. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.