This post is a response to an evil that has hit close to home. A family man from a small town in Ontario was abducted from his driveway, and today it was announced that he had been murdered. One suspect in custody was/is considered by some to have been incapable of such an act. Among the reasons cited were that he is well-educated, lacked nothing materially and came from an upstanding family. We wonder, how can any person stoop to such evil?
I apologize if the writing is not as polished as usual.
From childhood one's conscience is guided in a certain direction. Children are taught what is right and wrong and begin to develop self-control. However, education, wealth or family connections are no guarantee that a person will develop a conscience.
The way to cultivate a conscience is to listen to it. A conscience guided by the truth that love is the highest value (love for God and and love for your fellow creatures) will alert you when you are stepping over a line. That line may not be recognized by your society at large and may make you seem strange in the eyes of other. Yet, when you heed this nudge and turn back from an action or a thought that you know is wrong, your conscience becomes more sensitive. Doing right increasingly becomes more your natural way of life. Your relationships will prosper.
In contrast, a conscience can become "seared as with a hot iron" (1 Timothy 4:2). By a series of small steps and self-justification, the conscience can be ignored. Who a person is when nobody else is watching is the true self. When selfishness instead of love becomes a person's highest value, there are multiple avenues to cause pain and harm to those around. Then one who appears to be respectable can turn to doing great evils.
For an update on this story, see the post Conspiracy Uncovered.
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