Romans 13:5 – Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. (NIV)
One day when I was very young, I ventured off by myself to the dime store. I looked over all the things that took my eye, and with no money to buy, I looked at an eraser that I wanted to have. No one was looking, and I reached out, took the eraser, and put it into my pocket.
Off I went to school. There I took out the eraser and placed it on my desk. I thought about using it, but something inside me said "No." I struggled all afternoon until school was over. Back I went to the dime store, eraser in my hot, clammy, little hand. I reached the place where I had taken it, looked around, and, when I thought no one was looking, I put it back.
Yes, I got away with it, but my conscience bothered me to no end. Because I had stolen it, putting it back didn't make it any better. The original sin was still there.
What possessed me to do such a thing? I knew better, and I knew that, if I were caught, I would have been punished. Still I did it, and, to this very day, I have never forgotten. Growing with God, and maturing in Him, I discovered that all we desire is not of God, but some of our desires result from the temptation of evil.
We can thank God for giving us a conscience, a set of rules by which to live, and, by His grace, forgiveness for what we have done.
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Titus 2:11-12 – For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, (NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come to You asking forgiveness for our sin, through Christ. Teach us to live a more righteous life. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.