This sets our values and standards for life. Jiminy Cricket almost had it right, "let your conscience be your guide". However, since we are sinful, this is not always a good idea. Our conscience gets corrupted when we combine our limited knowledge and experience to right over God's source code of values. So what is good becomes bad and what is bad becomes good (I Tim. 4:2). We rationalize our values so they are relative to societies precepts and not God's. Then an out of control conscience can produce shame and guilt, which is designed for conviction of sin. But take sin out of the equation and you have neurosis.
Only the power of our Lord and what He did for us on the cross can free our guilt and empower our conscience in the right way. Scripture must be our guide and all of our experience, thinking, feelings, and emotions must yield to it. Thus our conscience only works well when we are governed by our Lord. Why the first step in AA is to let God help you, because we cannot!
© 1992, 2001 R.J. Krejcir, Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership, www.churchleadership.org/