Wednesday - May 15, 2024


“keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” – 1 Peter 3:16

In his book “The Good and Beautiful Community”, author James Bryan Smith writes the following about William Penn. “At the age of twenty-three, Penn became a Quaker, and soon after, everything began to change. It was common in Penn’s day to wear a sword, which was not intended to harm anyone but was a sign that the wearer belonged to the upper class. After becoming a Quaker, Penn struggled with whether he should wear the sword. After all, it was a symbol of war as well as class distinction two things Quakers stood squarely against.

So Penn went to Fox, his mentor, to seek guidance on the matter. “May I continue to wear the sword?” he asked Fox. I would have expected Fox to say, “No, you must get rid of it. Turn it into a plowshare and never wear anything like it again.” Instead, George Fox offered a response that is a touchstone for me in the area of Christian living. He said, “Wear it as long as you can, William, wear it as long as you can.”

Fox was laying out an important principle in the Christian life. When it comes to our practices and behavior, we need to avoid making rules and laws and trust the leading of the Spirit. Fox did not say, “Don’t wear it,” nor did he say, “It’s all right to wear it.” He trusted that Penn would make the right decision in time. Had Fox given him a command, he would have robbed Penn of the opportunity to listen to the Holy Spirit, and he would have put in place a rigid standard, which almost always leads to later problems.”

The Lord desires us to redeem all men and for them to have a clear conscience. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He is God and seek to keep a clear conscience before Him.

"A good conscience is the palace of Christ; the temple of the Holy Ghost; the paradise of delight; the standing Sabbath of the saints." - Augustine

God’s Word: “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” – Hebrews 10:22