How to Gain a Clear Conscience (Part 3)

Posted on September 2, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters

I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. Acts 24:16

For the past two weeks, we have been working through the importance of having a clear conscience between God and man based on the verse from Acts 24:16

Today I want to answer the question: When is the proper time to ask for forgiveness?

I am thankful for the ministry of the Institute in Basic Life Principles and for the many resources that they make available.

So when is the proper time:

Make a phone call or personally visit the offended person to ask when you can talk with them alone at a time that is convenient. Be considerate of their needs and schedule. Don’t jump into the confession until they are able to give their full attention to what you have to say.

When you have asked them to forgive you, give them time to express forgiveness verbally. Hearing the words, “I forgive you” is an important part of gaining a clear conscience. If they forgive you, express gratitude for their positive response. Let your attitudes and actions reflect your genuine repentance by not repeating the offense.

If the offended person is not able to forgive you, respect their decision. It is possible that they need time to think about what you have said. They may have an emotional balance of guilt and blame that would be upset if they forgave you, or they may doubt that you are truly repentant of your attitudes and actions.

Respond to them graciously, and with the passing of time, demonstrate that you are genuinely repentant of your wrongdoing. As you seek God’s direction for your part in the relationship, you can enjoy the blessing of a clear conscience, know that you did what you could to restore the relationship.

Whatever it takes, seek to gain the treasure of a clear conscience. The Apostle Paul understood the importance of a clear conscience, and he challenged us with this instruction: “If it be possible, as much lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18.

From the Institute of Basic Life Principles

Here are a couple of things I have learned the hard way:

  1. Saying “IF” I offended you, almost always negates the forgiveness. Several years ago, we had a speaker at America’s Keswick who made some untruthful comments about another brother in ministry. What he didn’t know was that there were a dozen people from the brother’s church attending the conference. The church people were offended, and the brother who the speaker misrepresented was actually watching the message that morning on line. He was very much offended by the comments.

I humbly spoke to the speaker, and at first, he refused to make any public apology and would not even consider calling the offended brother. A little later on, he texted me that he would offer a public apology.

That night he stepped into the pulpit and started out his “apology” by saying, “It has been brought to my attention that I might have possibly offended someone, and for that, I apologize.” That is not an apology. It wasn’t a matter of IF – he did. Asking forgiveness for an offense is very humbling, but worth it.

  1. Do it sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the harder it is to do, and the longer you wait, the more in bondage you are to guilt. I wonder what the outcome would have been in King David’s life if he had gone to Urriah to confess his sin and seek forgiveness. Maybe the train wreck he caused could have been avoided.

The big takeaway is this: Can you say with the Apostle Paul, ‘I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.’ Acts 24:16?

Relentlessly pursuing Christ,

Bill Welte, President/CEO
America’s Keswick

Written by Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his childhood sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 11 amazing grandkids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

Think About This:“The conscience is a built-in warning system that signals us when something we have done is wrong. The conscience is to our souls what pain senors are to our bodies: it inflicts distress, in the form of guilt, whenever we violate what our hearts tell us is right.” Dr. John MacArthur

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalms 137-1392 Corinthians 11:16-33| You can download our 2018 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. – Psalm 139:13-14

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.

Want to get away & have dedicated time to read & learn God’s Word?

Consider a retreat at America’s Keswick retreat center.


Recent Posts