Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)
You’ve probably heard the phrase “Garbage in, garbage out” right? Well, there’s actually plenty of truth in that pithy statement. Many of us have allowed all types of pollution into our minds. When I initially got saved, my mind and conscience were things that needed immediate healing and renewing. Till this day, at times I still feel the effects of what I exposed my conscience to. But praise God that he continues to renew my conscience. The conscience has been often described as something God has given us that acts as a moral compass that either approves or disapproves of our activities (see Rom. 2:14-15).
The Bible teaches that we can damage our conscience by sin. We can weaken it (1 Cor. 8:4-13), sear it (1 Tim. 4:1-3), and defile it (Tit. 1:14-16). This all depends on what we expose our consciences to and how frequently. Garbage in, garbage out, right?
In this sinful world with our sinful flesh, our minds and consciences have been exposed to things that weaken, sear, and defile it. Our seared consciences can distort the way we see people. It can cause us to see people as objects of pleasure, as a means to completing a task, as a consumer with not much value or dignity. If you have bitterness without forgiveness in your heart, and if you continue to replay what that person did to you, reconvening yourself of how wrong they are, you are weakening and searing your conscience about them. So when love “hopes all things,” and God could do a work in that person’s heart, your conscience won’t even let you begin to consider that possibility.
But praise God that Jesus restores and renews our conscience! Instead of allowing our world to tell you how to think and make decisions, allow God’s Spirit and his word to inform you. As Paul wrote, be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom. 12:2). So is your conscience seared about someone? Have you been allowing your mind to feed and consume on garbage or real food? Paul gives us some very practical advice on how God renews our minds, writing: “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things” (Phil. 4:8).