Nerve Center – Today’s Family Devotion

Nerve Center


Bible Reading of the Day: Read Acts 24:10-16.

Verse of the Day: “I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and everyone else” (Acts 24:16).

“Mom, what’s a ‘conscience’?” Luan dropped his notebook onto the counter of the small grocery store run by his family.

His mother looked up from her work. “Aren’t you even going to give your mother a kiss or say, ‘Hello, Mom,’ before you start asking me questions?” she asked.

Luan leaned across the counter and kissed her. “OK,” he said, as if he had fulfilled a difficult obligation, “now tell me. What’s a ‘conscience’?”

“Why do you ask me that? Is it homework?”

“It’s a vocabulary word,” he answered.

Mom nodded slowly. After a few moments she pointed to the freezer in the comer of the store. “Please get me a Popsicle from the freezer,” she said. “Any flavor will do.” Luan sighed as he went to do as his mother asked.

“Also, bring me a cup of coffee from the back room!” she called across three aisles of groceries. Luan disappeared into the back room. He reappeared a few moments later with the Popsicle and a cup of coffee. He started to set the items on the counter.

“No,” Mom said. “Hold them in your hands and tell me what your hands feel.”

Luan looked puzzled, but he answered, “This hand is freezing,” he said, nodding at the hand holding the Popsicle, “and this one is warm from the coffee.”

“How do your hands feel the sensations of cold and hot?”

Luan shrugged. “I don’t know.”

“Yes, you do. You learned it in school. You have nerves in your hands and in your fingers. Those nerves send messages to your brain, telling you what is cold or hot.” “Oh yeah,” Luan said. “I remember.”

“Your conscience is like those nerves. It is a part of your soul that is sensitive to right and wrong. It’s a feeling inside you that reminds you to do right things and to resist doing wrong things. It sends messages to your spirit,” she said, tapping Luan’s chest above his heart with the tip of her index finger, “telling you right from wrong. Your conscience is that part of you that feels dirty when you choose wrong and clean when you choose right. That,” she concluded, “is what your conscience is.”

“Oh,” Luan said. He set the coffee cup down on the counter and extended the Popsicle toward his mother.

That,” she said, indicating the Popsicle in Luan’s hand, “is for you. This,” she said, smiling and picking up the coffee cup, “is for me.”

TO DISCUSS: What does it mean to have a “clear conscience”? Why is that important?

TO PRAY: “Lord, thank you for giving each of us a conscience. May we keep our consciences clear before you and everyone else.”