If you say, “Behold we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work? Pro 24:12
One thing I’ve learned about myself is that my tendency is to always look for loopholes–trying to get the most I can out of a situation with the least amount of pain and suffering. Not so much practically as a means to avoid consequences, but psychologically to justify a rationale in my conscious in an effort to come out feeling better about myself and my circumstances. I’ve fought godly guilt with worldly ignorance and it often allows a temporary pacification. And I’ve realized that each and every time I claim an ignorance that is not there, I am engaging in one of the most destructive and dangerous habits for the eternity of my soul.
Prior to knowing Jesus, I would have thought, “ignorance is bliss” and that by avoiding thinking things that upset me, I could escape the tension of my troubled soul. Also known as “optimism,” I’d just cover up all negativity of sin with positive thinking. The only problem with that is that it never quite worked. Somehow, there was always at some root level an awareness that no amount of positive thinking was able to smother.
After Jesus came in and stole my heart, I was increasingly conscious to all that opposed him. I had a heightened awareness of sin and resolved that there is none who could escape God–he holds everyone to account and will reveal both the outer and inner workings of each and every person on that great day when we stand before him (Rom 14:4). He watches over each and every part of my life and though I may deceive people, it is impossible to manipulate God. When I stand before Him, I cannot claim ignorance (Rom 1:20).
As my walk continued and my experience grew, I discovered a darker and deeper truth in that my biblical understanding of conscious was incomplete. And that is that while, God will not be mocked, a man reaps what he sows (Gal 6:7) and if one sows seeds of desire for insensitivity to the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:18-19), and if that desire superceeds a longing to humbly submit a soul of wickedness in exchange for one of holiness and purity promised by the giver himself, he will reap the hardness of heart and searing of conscious he has requested (Rom 1:28). One of the greatest dangers of all is self-deception. I have watched men and women more gifted, more versed in scripture, better trained in leadership walk away from the God of the Bible, an act I struggled to reconcile with the perseverance described in scripture (Phil 1:6; John 10:27). I’ve experienced the draw back to those things which never satisfied me in the first place and known the terrifying truth that if I chose anything over him, if I allowed any other god to take the seat on the throne, I would prove myself to have never really known him in the first place (1 John 2:18-19). The terrifying reality is that the giver is generous and will eventually gives us over to our deepest desires, and that if our deepest desire is anything but him, it will result in a hardening of heart, a distortion of reality and a destruction of conscious. We will feel better for a time in this blissful ignorance, but my hope is not in a temporary feeling, but in an eternal certainty. I would rather take the heaviness of conscious, the foolishness of exposure, and the vulnerability of depravity as he whittles away at character and nature than a lifetime of happiness and fun which mask the uncertainty and unease of my eternal hope. So long as God gives me free will to choose, the strength to do so, and the perseverance to hold fast, I choose a clear conscious above any and all gain in this life.
To let sin alone in our lives is to permit it to grow until it chokes and blinds the conscious.