Consciously Persistent February 2018
Edward Aglionby said, “The conscience of man is eternal, invisible, and it is not in the power of the greatest monarchy in the world to constrain it.”
Sir Thomas More, referring to the Oath of Supremacy, said, “I do not see why that thing shall make any change in my conscience.”
I have no doubt whatsoever that I am uniquely myself. There is not another Me anywhere on this globe. I say ouch when pinched. My feelings are hurt when I am insulted. It is my wallet that is drained by the costs of living. God has given me the ability to learn and earn in a way that is my own one of a kind.
Always in the background is my conscience. It takes on the character of another Me as it questions what I do and why I do it. That part of my mind constantly looks for errors in judgment in order to take me to task. In some ways it is more brutal than the criticism of a friend because it is also my own. I cannot ignore what I am thinking. The little voice in the back of my head that says, “You did that to get attention,” or “You know why you said that in that manner to make yourself look even smarter than you are.” It is always right in its verdicts.
Really we are each two people. Part of me knows the perfect way to be, while the other refuses perfection almost to confound the other. Perfection is a very high standard and takes a super human effort to do once, much less do every time on every day. We compromise to keep our head from exploding. Yet, there lingers in the background this drive to do better.
We can be overcome more by ourselves than by others in the realm of thought. It takes a persistence to continue on when we know we have done wrong. For some, the sense of conviction of the wrong is greater than the consequences of having done it. Here conscience morphs into shame. That can lead to serious mental illness which then overtakes all else in one’s life. Shame is the backbone, or rather the lack of one, in mental diseases. The who that we are battles back and forth across the mind. Though we are perfected by the sense of conscience, we must avoid the swamp of shame. It is the inclination that we have approached an edge that causes us to draw back.
Being unconscious because of inebriation can so erase that edge that we feel absolutely nothing as we cross over it. Inebriation can come from alcohol, but it can also come from power, education, and greed. Doing right is usually comprised of acts that benefit others more than the acts help ourselves. When we lose that perspective, the acts which follow can lead to well deserved shame. Here the conscience defines the edge for us well before we step over it.
So though we are each unique in our own head, we still have a duty to the conscience that God gave us. He sees us as individuals and guides us accordingly when we listen to Him.