“Labor to keep alive in your breast
that little spark of celestial fire,
called conscience.”…George Washington
Long before George Washington became the first President of the USA…long before he was unanimously elected to preside over the Constitutional Convention…yes even long before he lead the troops as Commander-in-chief of the military forces of the colonies, Washington developed that inner compass of character called conscience.
Although born into a wealthy family of Virginia planters, having the luxuries and finer things of life available at his very turn, Washington choose to branch out. He could have stayed home governed his plantation and been an aristocrat of the 1700s; but George launched out into a career of a surveyor and then gained military experience in the French and Indian War.
The one characteristic that was spoken of often in each and all of his endeavors was that he was supremely honest. We have all heard the story of the cherry tree incident in which young Washington is purported to say “I cannot tell a lie, I cut it down.” A fabricated tale more than likely; however fabricated from the life of a man who had woven into the fabric of his life the quality of conscience and character.
Scripture teaches us that all of the human race are created in the image of God. Now greater minds than mine have tried to plumb the depth of this great truth; however suffice it to say that one of those qualities found in the inner spirit of man is this attribute called conscience. The conscience is the inner compass that directs connects to the mind and heart of God and away from the evils of the darker side of life.
It is that part of man that causes a 10 year old boy who stole a snicker bar to run home and hunt down a nickel to take back to Daniels Grocery Store. (Shows how old I am a nickel for a snickers). It is that still small voice that helps young people to steer clear of drugs and alcohol and to say no when asked to “bully someone” etc. Yes much of that is taught at home and learned by example…but there are too many instances where men and women totally void of extensive training in these areas that still have a force within them to do that which is right and just.
Solomon said this way “The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord. Searching all the inner depths of his heart.” On the flip side of that coin the Great Apostle Paul speaks to us of what we are seeing in today’s society when he warns your Timothy that the day will come when man will be “speaking lies in hypocrisy having their own conscience seared with a hot iron…) I Timothy 4:2) i.e. rendered useless
Now before you throw up your hands and say, “What’s the use” I hasten to say that right, just holy and pure always has a remnant. That remnant is YOU and Me as we continue to strive to do that which is just and true… and not only do but continue to teach it to our children, grand-children and even great grand-children.
The Hollies and later Neil Diamond sang a song years ago, and although I may not agree with its premise, I like the phrase “he ain’t heavy; he’s my brother”…Go through this week singing that phrase…and then “let your conscience be your guide.”
Have a great week,