Personal Conscience

As has been mentioned several times in my blogs, the heart in biblical thinking is the very place where the battle between good and evil is waged.   It is in the heart that we wage the struggle of our conscience.

“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”  (Genesis 6:5)

And when the LORD smelled the pleasing odor, the LORD said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.'”  (Genesis 8:21)

Baylor University theology Professor Ralph C. Wood writes:

“The dictates of his heart reveals that prudence is a virtual synonym for conscience. The heart is the locus of desire, and the chest has been understood as the traditional stronghold of conscience – no less than the place of its worst violations. ‘The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart’ (Ps. 19:8). ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?’ (Jer. 17:9). The heart must be transfigured by prudence and wisdom in order for the desires to be redirected toward the Good. Only when the conscience is properly formed can we instinctively discern the truth and act swiftly upon it.” (The Gospel According to Tolkien, pg. 79)

Our Lord Jesus Himself taught:

“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander.”  (Matthew 15:19)

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