Living By Your Conscience

I remember one day talking to our priest and I said that I lived by my conscience. And he looked at me and said “no, we can’t do that”.  I sat there stunned for a bit and then I asked him why. He said if you had a good formed conscience that it would work but that not everyone had an honest conscience or had a weak one and would give into wrong even though their conscience was making them feel a little guilty.

I sat a long time thinking about that and realized that what he was saying was true. Otherwise, we would not have people who rob, steal, murder, abduct or anything else like that. I used to love the cartoons showing the little angel on the shoulder and the little devil on the other shoulder as the person tries to decide what to do…good fights evil.  In reality, we do have those inside of us that help us when it comes to making judgment calls.

It is our conscience that bugs us if we go to do something we know is wrong. But, if we don’t have an honest formed conscience, then I think we can all see how people will make the wrong choices. If our conscience is formed in a way where being dishonest, stealing, taking what is not ours whether it is in thought, word or deed,  are seen as being ok…then we will live our lives in a dishonest way and feel like we are ok to do it.

I have a strong belief system on being honest and upfront. I have said many times I live by do not lie to me and do not steal from me whether it is my money, my possessions, my time, my heart, my thoughts..whatever. And that is the creed I live by but I can see what the priest was talking about for many do not. Many have no remorse at doing what is wrong and many will feel a little guilt or remorse but push it aside for the temptation whether it is money or possessions or whatever is too strong a temptation that their character is not honest enough to turn it down.

It makes it all the more important for us to show the younger generations the right thing to do…to instill in them honesty and ethics and good morals. But, it is not just the younger generation. It is everyone we come in contact with. Whether we want to accept it or not, we are ALL examples to someone somewhere. It may be a complete stranger who sees us doing something wrong that gets the impression that this must be ok because you are doing it. There may be another child who sees you do right, who sees you refuse to do what is wrong no matter the temptation and says “Oh I want to be like they are”. We are responsible for our actions but we need to remember that the responsibility carries over into what we encourage others to do and to not do by our own ethics. One can be raised with poor ethics but that is no excuse for keeping them when we become adults.


18 thoughts on “Living By Your Conscience

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  3. I agree we do have a moral compass when born but as was said we do pick up what we see and do around us.
    We have that choice to get back on track or go down the bad road. I choose the good road. Hard as things have been they would be a lot harder if I didn’t believe and try to live by God’s rules. Darlene

    • So true Darlene. We have the choice and it is up to us to choose the right way to live. But many give in and don’t and seems like many don’t care if they are lying or stealing and that is so sad to me.

  4. Even those of us who strive to live honestly and morally upright can mess up. Just one little compromise can help to make our conscious a little harder to hear. Glad we have our priests to keep track of our progress in life and tell us when we make a wrong turn.

    • I can not attribute this to all priests. Just to my godfather who is such a good man and a terrific priest. The post was really not about priests but about having a moral conscience and how some people have no moral conscience and therefore the quote “I live by my conscience” is really not what to teach for then we could be encouraging others to live by no moral conscience. We all make mistakes but if we have no moral conscience then it is a life style not messing up now and then.

  5. Your moral compass can only point you in the right direction… it cannot make you go there, YOU are responsible for where you go, as Dr Seuss reminds us, “we have feet in our shoes and brains in our heads”… and we are the ones who determine our paths, our actions by the choices we make, when we step out of our comfort zones, beyond our teachings and learned behaviors to abide by the golden rules and to treat others as we want to be treated in kindness and compassion always… We have rights and responsibilities and make choices with each step we take and each breath we inhale and exhale… choose wisely before hitting enter, and speaking words that are like a bell and cannot be unrung. Just keepin it real….

    • So true Sherry and I do believe we are born with that moral compass and we allow things in the world to take us away from what is honest and right to do. People make excuses for doing things they know are wrong which tells you that they know it is wrong. I think when you go ahead, even when your conscience is telling you that it is not right…then you are doubly wrong and it will come back on you. I think the internet has made it easier for people to do wrong too for they can hit enter, walk away and have no second thoughts. Hugs my friend.

    • Thanks. Yes, I feel that is important. I have heard people say “well i don’t want to be a role model”. and my thought is…you are whether you want to be or not so why not be a good one.

  6. Been thinking about my post. Too harsh. I believe in the moral compass. Begs the question, how does one obtain a moral compass? I understand one can get off course and then steer back to true. But where does it come from? Why do some people not seem to have this characteristic? Gift from God? Parents? Inner core? What is the driver?

    • Ann, I would like to think we are created with it but what we are exposed to as children and as we grow up helps build or remove it. There has to be a reason some of us have it and some of us don’t. Hugs

  7. Powerful post friend. Reminds me of the Cherokee legend.. “we all walk with two wolves, which wolf are you feeding? the one of goodness or the one of greed, the one of service to others or the one that is self serviing”… I know the wolf you are feeding dear heart… may you be richly blessed and I thank you for your older than dirt wisdom you provide here. Blessings on the wind to you and yours. Wado!

  8. Excuse me. Interesting to have a priest talk about conscience. Too much cover up and protection of the priests. No care and concern for the children. Has changed my opinion about how it works.

    • Ann, I don’t judge all priests by what some have done anymore than I judge all scouts by the leaders who abused children or the all teachers by the teachers who have. My godfather is a priest and one of the most moral people I know and has pure disdain for those that have done wrong as a priest. But whether it was a priest or not that said it to is true. we do not all have good moral compass…we do not all have good formed conscience ..all including priests.

  9. Excellent post. This is so true, Deb. I also live by my conscience – and like you, my standards for myself are very high, and for others only a little less so. Wishing you and yours a blessed weekend. ~ Love, Julie xox

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