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WTW Resource – Characteristic of a Weak Conscience
It would do us well to recognize what Paul means by a “weak” conscience. The
word in the Greek means to be impotent, without strength, weak. It can denote
physical as well as spiritual weakness. An example is found in 1 Corinthians 11:17-
34 regarding wrongly taking the Lord’s Supper.
A weak conscience is one in which a State of weakness exists. It is fragile and
extremely vulnerable to its past associations, which are inconsistent with the
Christian walk. The conscience has not matured in knowledge to be able to take
action apart from doubt. To be weak in conscience is to be weak in faith.
We can see the following characteristics of a weak conscience:
9. Spiritually impotent
Another word associated with a weak conscience is the word “defiled.” This word
in the original means to besmear as with mud or filth. The conscience becomes
defiled when a person goes beyond their conscience capabilities. The point of no
return in conscience capabilities is to take action out of DOUBT rather than
In extreme cases the conscience can be enticed into following doctrines of
demons because of ignorance to the Word and listening to false teachers. The
conscience can become hardened and callused to the true things of God.A weak conscience left to itself, without correction and awareness of how it
operates in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, can spiral down into any other forms
of negative functioning.
It is imperative to be aware of the wrong kind of conscience and how it affects the
spiritual and emotional well being of the Christian. Being aware of certain
characteristics allows us to evaluate the problem which is quite often a
Characteristics of a defiled conscience:
e. Emotional turmoil
f. Self-imposed penance
Characteristics of a seared conscience:
d. Wrong doctrinally
e. Always following the winds of doctrine
g. Lack of Discernment
Characteristics of an evil conscience:
a. Makes light of sin
b. Rationalizes behavior
c. Argumentative, especially to Truth
d. Calls good evil and evil good
e. Tends to categorize sins (big vs. small sins)Characteristics of a wounded conscience:
a. Similar characteristics of a defiled conscience
f. Lacking Assurance
g. Feeling Inadequate
It is important who you listen to. People fall into false teaching when they ignore
or reject their conscience. When this happens, they can teach false doctrines and
then try to destroy the faith of others. They can go so far as to blaspheme God.
The tragedy is that such men as these are convinced they are right – convinced
because they have changed their final authority.
Do not forget that conscience is responsive, fatally so, to one’s final authority. If it
is right the conscience will be right, if it is wrong the conscience will be wrong.
God uses the Holy Spirit to guide us through our conscience unto the Lord Jesus
Christ, Who is our All in All. Many know they need to be controlled and guided by
the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, but do not realize it is the voice of
their conscience that is the means used.