Home Page of ACTS International
Home Page of ACTS InternationalHow to Find and Know God without having to be religiousLife Help Articles dealing with faith, family, and practical helps for purposeful livingDaily and Weekend Encounters with more than a third-of-a-million worldwide subscribersSupport the Work of ACTS International a not-for-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible for U.S. donorsCurrent report on the ministries and services of ACTS InternationalOnline Store of ACTS ... ACTS CommunicationsAbout ACTS International
  Site Map Email Share and/or Bookmark

Add Daily Encounter to your website without charge

Daily Encounter: A Week-day Devotional by Richard (Dick) Innes of ACTS International.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

On Guilt and Conscience

"If a person sins and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands, even though he does not know it, he is guilty and will be held responsible."1

Do you ever feel guilty about things you shouldn't feel guilty about and not feel guilty about things you should feel guilty about?

I have. Why is this? A major reason is that we tend to think in terms of guilt as an emotional response that comes from our conscience. This, however, can be misleading.

Keep in mind that guilt in the Bible is a legal term—not an emotional one. If we do what is wrong in the eyes of God, we are guilty regardless of how we feel. That's also true of our legal system. If I break the law, I am guilty whether I feel guilty or not—or whether I get caught or not. For some, guilt is more a fear of getting caught.

On the other hand, conscience, while very important, is a learned emotional response. The word "conscience" comes from "con" meaning "with" and "science" meaning "knowledge." Thus conscience means "with knowledge." We were born with the ability to learn what was right and what was wrong but the programming of our conscience came largely from those who shaped our formative years. For some, a legalistic parent, church or religion gave them a very punitive conscience. At the opposite extreme, a loose-living parent or teacher failed to give any meaningful programming to a child's conscience.

As adults, to have a healthy conscience we need to reprogram or reeducate it to make sure it is in harmony with the source of all truth and knowledge as to what is right and what is wrong—that is God's Word, the Bible.

Based on this knowledge, the important thing is to always do what is right regardless of how we feel. As we consistently act in this manner, little by little (over time) we will reprogram our conscience so it is in complete harmony with the will and Word of God.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for Your Word, the Bible, that instructs me in how to behave and live. Please help me to re-educate and reprogram my conscience so the way I feel will be in direct harmony with Your Word. And then, help me to live in harmony with Your will so I will always have a clear conscience. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Leviticus 5:17 (NIV).


  • Previous Devotional

  • 2. To Know God and be sure you're a real
        Christian click on:

    3. Donate: To help send Daily Encounter
        without charge to people around the world
        click on:

    4. To send today's Daily Encounter to a friend
        click on:


    5. To share your faith in a simple, attractive
        way with a friend click on:

    6. For today's featured article click on:

    7. This week's chuckle as seen "On the Lighter
        Side"  on Weekend Encounter click on:

    8. Change Address of your subscription to
        Daily Encounter
    click on:

        Back to Return to previous page Previous Page    
    Site Map   Top
    Find Peace With God footer
    About God
    About Faith
    Ask the Teacher
    Better Living Tips
    Words of Love
    Words of Inspiration
    People Power for Jesus
    Simple and Effective Witnessing for Christ

    Spanish Espanol
    French Francois

    Daily Encounter
    Weekend Encounter
    Encuentros Diarios
    When God Is Silent
    Prayer Partners

    Special Needs

    Helps and Studies
    Today's Reading
    Annual Reading

    Today's Quotes
    Happiness Test
    Stress Test


    ACTS Websites
    ACTS in Action Report


    Syndicate ACTS Articles
    "I Hate Witnessing"
       Audio—No Charge

    Opening Closed Minds
    Effective Communications
    Jesus, the Communicator
    Punching Holes in
       the Darkness

    About ACTS
    Be an ACTS Friend

    People Power Invite
    Privacy Policy
    Snail-Mail List
    Contact Us/Feedback

    Online Bookstore

    Site Map
    Report problems to ACTS International
    All pages in this site © Copyright 2005-2019 by ACTS International
    P.O. Box 73545, San Clemente, CA 92673 U.S.A.
    HOME   Daily Encounter  Find Peace With God