"I have nothing on my conscience."
To be able to say he had nothing on his conscience must have made St. Paul a very happy man. If everybody in the world could say that, it would be a better place for you to grow up in. Conscience is the small voice within us that tells us when we are doing wrong. You have to be careful with is because if can be dulled and silenced.
Sparky was the blacksmith’s dog. He was an old dog, and like all old dogs he liked to snooze before the fire. He used to lie as close to the blacksmith’s fire as he possibly could. At first the little sparks from the fire annoyed him very much. But to keep out of their way he would have to stay too far away from the fire. So he made himself get used to the little sparks. After a while he got so he would sleep away and the sparks did not bother him at all. That is why they called him Sparky. Every day he went just a little bit closed to the fire, until one day he was so close that when he lay down his tail stuck right into the flames. Sparky gave a wild yelp and hasn’t stopped running since.
The same thing can happen to our conscience. If we get used to committing little sins, we find that after a while our conscience does not bother us as much as it did. We can creep closer and closer to the fire without being annoyed by the little sparks, just like Sparky. If we keep this up, there will come a day when we will be burned in the fire. Treat the sparks as a warning. Do not ignore them until you become used to them.
So much for dogs! Now a story about a cat. The engineer in charge of the laying of a telegraph wire across the desert solved his problem in an unusual way. The wire was to be laid inside a fairly small pipe. He had trouble threading the wire through the pipe and had to lay it in small sections. He tried a new idea and it worked. He tired a piece of thread to a cat’s tail and then chased the cat along the pipe. He undid the thread at the other end. Then he was able to pull a string through. Then a stronger string and then the heavy wire. He saved lots of time by this method.
That is the way conscience works. That is the way you will be tempted. First to little things, then to bigger and bigger. The small thread was able to pull a string, then a stronger string, then a heavy wire. A little fault ignored will lead us to a bigger one and a bigger one to a still bigger.
If we keep our conscience clear, we will not fall into little sins, and if we stay away from little sins, we will not fall into big ones. In that way we will be able to say with St. Paul, “I have nothing on my conscience.”
~ "Heirs of the Kingdom," Imprimatur 1949 ~