Monday, August 3, 2009

Are you in touch with your governor?

Yesterday I talked about seeking truth from the Scriptures and hiding it in your heart so that you can live godly. I also highlighted three absolute changes that must occur in our lives through the process of imbibing sound doctrine. Today we’ll unpack those changes in a little more detail.

Consciousness – this involves knowledge and awareness. While you can keep the law by “accident” there is no moral virtue in doing so. For instance, a man who enjoys driving at 50 mph all the time will be within the law when driving in a 55 mph simply because he happens to enjoy driving at a speed that is within the posted speed limit. However, if he was driving in a 25 mph zone he would be guilty of violating the law. For him to achieve moral virtue as a driver and always drive within the speed limits he must become conscious of and cognizant with the traffic laws.

Conviction – This is a matter of depth and intensity. It is one thing to be conscious or aware that a certain thing is right, it is entirely another to have a conviction about it. It’s a lot easier for us to compromise our knowledge than it is for us to act against our convictions. We are all conscious of the hazards of drunk driving and we all wish our roads were completely devoid of drunk drivers. Few of us have a conviction to ensure that our roads are clear of drunk drivers though. The organization MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving) however, is fully committed to the process of eliminating drunk drivers from our roads. Their convictions come largely because they’ve lost a child at the hands of a drunk driver. Most Christians have a conviction about fidelity in marriage largely because, in addition to being conscious of the Scriptures stand on adultery, many of us have seen the ineluctable negative results of infidelity as it affects whole families.

Conscience – Our conscience acts as a kind of governor upon our behavior. Maria in The Sound of Music was a governess to the children, and she helped curtail their excesses and teach them the decorum of good behavior. Large moving trucks also have governors to help curtail the excesses of speed and ensure that a moving truck is used for exactly that purpose as opposed to a missile. Unfortunately the dictates of our conscience can sometimes be misleading depending on what our convictions are. The only way the conscience will function in a godly way is if it is influenced by godly convictions. To gain godly consciences, our consciousness of what is right and wrong must be sharpened. This involves the renewing of the mind and is a matter of imbibing doctrinal truth.