by Ernest O’Neill
Many of us today think we’re nothing! Often we say and do things that make others think we’re arrogant or proud or sure of ourselves. But inside our own hearts we hide a different self-a self that feels it’s worth nothing, achieves nothing, and will die without ever being missed. This comes from the way humans think about success today. People think you’re successful when your picture is in the paper or you have lots of money or thousands pay to hear you sign or play football. The reality is what was whispered to Roman generals in their triumphant entry into Rome after a great military victory: the one in the chariot who held the laurel crown above the victor’s head as the crowds cheered, whispered “Remember, all fame is fleeting!”
Whether we’re known by many or by none, all of us have a far greater destiny than the temporary adulation of humans who will soon be dead. You were created so that the only Son of the Maker of the universe could live in your body and mind here on earth. That’s why you’re different from everybody else-because he is so infinitely diverse in his character that he will only be properly seen if you allow him to be himself in you. This is what your conscience testifies to. That is the purpose of your conscience-it’s “intense knowing”- “con-scio” in Latin, “suneidesis” in Greek – “knowing completely”. It’s part of God’s own view of reality-implanted in you when you were created. It’s your best guide to what you should do in your life-day by day, year by year, and moment by moment. Fulfilment is the real success. The applause of other little specks of dust is irrelevant. The fulfilment of the Creator’s Son in you is the purpose of your life.
Your Conscience is Exciting
This is why listening to your conscience through the day is exciting. Listening to the jaded moral precedents stored in your mind or listening to your mind’s apprehensions is constricting and boring. But listening to the spirit of the creative Christ through your conscience links you to the moving, unknown actions of the One who made the universe. You don’t need to get entangled in the abstractions of spiritualism to do this; you don’t need to lose your personality in the passivity of transcendental meditations; you don’t need to retreat into introspection to find reality in your inner being. Christ is real-and loves you-and thinks of you as part of Himself. See Him objectively as he appeared in the first century in Palestine. Think about his character as you read the ancient histories. Then respond by word and action to the directions He is giving you through your conscience!
If you respond to your conscience with more thinking and meditation and good intentions, you’ll find yourself sinking in a morass of passivity and confusion. But, if you respond with actions and words and change of your actual behaviour to things and people and circumstances, you’ll find a simple consciousness of direction developing in your life. Clarity about what you should do and satisfaction about your life will seem to materialize out of nowhere. All of this comes from the fact that your Creator is now able to communicate with you. An old writer put it like this-“let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience” (Hebrews 10:22).
The more you respond by actual behavioural adjustment to Christ in your conscience, the more he is able to be Himself in you, and the more you experience the oneness with reality that Paul expressed when he wrote “my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 9:1).
What Does This Mean For You?
What does this mean for you? Only you will know! That’s the wonderful thing about reality. It is more personal than we ever thought it could be. You yourself are more personal-more individual-than you ever thought. You see-the world has never seen Christ, the Son of God, the way he has planned to show himself in you. That’s true! Only you can reveal that-today, as you talk with him, think of him, forget all the pretensions and fears you’ve had in the past-and be yourself, rather Himself in you. It’s an inexplicable paradox how an honest respect and love for the Son of God (at first, in childlike faith) enables you to be actively you and, at the same time, Christ. But that is the miraculous life that you have before you. Begin today!