God wants to develop our internal Navigation as well as help you develop you children’s. A well trained conscience helps a child know right from wrong, keep from being governed by their appetites (anger, overspending, greed, lust, etc), and how to handle money.
The word Conscience is used over 860 times in the Old Testament translated as the word “leb” meaning heart. It is used 30 times in the NT translated conscience and human heart.
- “LEB” used in 1 samuel 24:5 where David’s heart had troubled him because he cut Saul’s robe. he felt guilty about what he had done. In 2 Samuel 24:10, his heart condemned him when he disobeyed God.
- 1 Timothy 4:2 tells us that it is possible to sear the human conscience. To make it hard and calloused, and unresponsive to God. The conscience is the INTERNAL NAVIGATION that receives and reflects values and perceives what is right and wrong.
1 Timothy 1: 1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith… speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
So, here we see that a person can burn out their internal navigator. They can shut it down, they can break it, destroy it. So the question you and I have before us today is this: How do we develop an internal navigator for ourselves and our childrenI read a true story about a mother who’s 36 month child had already overwhlemed and bewildered his parents. The contest of wills was over and the child had won. His sassy talk was legendary in the neighborhood, not only to his mother but to anyone who got in his way. One day he was riding his tricycle down the driveway and into the street. They lived on a curve and a car was coming around the bend at high speed. Mom can out, caught up with him, took hold of the handlebars to redirect him, and he became unglued. “Get Your dirty hands off my tricycle!” He screamed. His eyes were squint in fury. As Shirley watched in disbelief, this mom did as she was told. This is a child who needs an internal navigation device to handle his tongue, his humilty, his understanding of authority, and sense of foolishness.
I have a friend who was a high end home builder. He often visited the building site with his clients. he met with a father one day of a 10 year old. The father told his son to stay close and not go near the building due to the equipment, nails, and danger. The child blantantly ignored his dad. He ran around. Did exactly what his father told him not to. My friend watched respectfully to see what might happen. He had seen this interaction every time they had got together. The father nagged, beggs, and threatened. In a moment of exhaustion.. and honesty, the father blurted out, “Get over here. If you don’t stop it… I’ll… I’ll… (My friend waited for the clear consequence to be communicated) I’ll… say stop again! This father had trained his son to know that if you don’t obey, dad repeats himself. But in this moment of clarity and hilarity, his father actually blurted out the truth behind how he had trained his son. Our children need us as parents to train them with an internal navigator.
EVERY PARENT CAN IMPART AN INTERNAL NAVIGATOR BY MARKING TRAINING THE TERRAIN WITH TRUTH.
Why TRAIN THE TERRAIN
One of the cool things about GPS and google maps is the ability to see maps in layers. You can see the terrain view or the traffic view. You can add in stores and restaurants, or you can turn them off. The conscience is the same. There are two layers to the conscience: The Terrain view (the layer that is inborn) and the Traffic View (which must be designed, built and constructed within a person).
The primary conscience is inborn into human personality. It is untrained.
Romans 2:14-15 having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)
Here Paul is saying that every human being is born with some untrained portion of their conscience that knows some sense of right and wrong. Our thoughts in our hearts accuse us of wrong doing, or excuse us of wrong doing. So, the Bible teaches that every human being is born with a TERRAIN MAP with the basic layout of what we should or should not do. Children know they shouldn’t hit, lie, cheat, steal, or hurt others, so when they do it -their conscience points it out by either accusing them making them either admit the problem or hide from it. In the movie Pinocchio, there is a great scene that reminds us that we need to access the TERRAIN CONSCIENCE and TRAIN OUR CONSCIENCE. We are developing an ability to hear the inner Jiminy Criket.
To put simply, the TERRAIN but be TRAINED! We must train the TERRAIN of a child’s conscience. We must let God train the Terrain of our conscience to get to the next level. Like building roads on the countryside or interstates on a countinent, parenting is about TRAINING the TERRAIN with the TRAFFIC of a moral framework.TRAIN THE TERRAIN WITH TRUTH
The Bible teaches that the conscience can and must be Trained. Paul is a mentor, and he writes to a young man in his 30’s and tells him that he needs to continue to train his conscience. He needs to continually lay out the tracks and traffic in his heart.
1 Timothy 1:3-7 As I urged you… to teach no other doctrine…5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, 6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside…understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.
This is such brilliant spiritual, psychological, and practical information. Paul says that in order to TRAIN THE TERRAIN of your conscience, you must commit to teaching Doctrine! What is doctrine? It’s truth. You lay the traffic lines of truth into your heart. And those commandments when IMPARTED into the heart result in “pure heart” good working trained conscience and a sincere faith… Paul notes that he knows some that have strayed (have an untrained conscience) and don’t know what they affirm. See that. They affirm (the Terrain level of the map), but don’t do it (The Traffic view of the map).
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