By Larry Pasley
A man walked into a cafe and ordered a cup of coffee. He took a sip of the coffee, then tossed the remainder into the waitress’ face. Before the waitress could recover from the surprise, the man began weeping.
"I'm sorry," he said. "I'm really sorry. I keep doing that to waitresses. I can't tell you how embarrassing it is, to have a compulsion like this."
Far from being angry, the waitress was sympathetic. Before long, she was suggesting that the man see an analyst about his problem. "I happen to have the name of a Psychoanalyst," the waitress said. "My brother his wife have both been treated by him, and they say he's as good as they get."
The man wrote down the name of the Doctor, thanked the waitress, and left. The waitress smiled, knowing she'd done a good deed for a fellow human being.
Six months later, the man was back. "Did you do what I suggested?" the waitress asked, serving the cup of coffee.
"I certainly did," the man said. "I've been seeing the Psychoanalyst twice a week." He took a sip of the coffee. Then he threw the remainder into the waitress’ face.
The flustered waitress wiped her face with a towel. "The Doctor doesn't seem to be doing you any good." She sputtered.
"On the contrary," the man claimed, "he's done me world of good."
"But you threw coffee in my face again!" The waitress exclaimed.
"Yes." The man replied. "But it doesn't embarrass me anymore!"
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>God gives us a conscience for the purpose of making us feel guilty and embarrassed when we do things wrong.
We see the conscience at work in the people who brought the adulterous woman to Jesus (John 8:7-9 - "So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst"). God’s Word and commandments are given to us so we can know right from wrong (1 Timothy 1:5-6 - "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 to idle talk").
Some reject what their conscience is trying to tell them (1 Timothy 1:18-19- "This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck").
We can go against our conscience so much that it becomes calloused and unresponsive (1 Timothy 4:1-2 - "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron"). May we always strive to have a pure conscience before God (Hebrews 13:18 - "Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably").
- Larry Pasley serves as a minister with the Jackson Street Church of Christ in Alexandria, LA. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://www.JacksonStAlex.com