1 Timothy 1:19 says: 19 Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.
What powerful advice this is. I also find the words to be compelling. Cling, violate, and shipwreck are all very strong words. As a Christian, it is very easy to get off track. It may not always be deliberate at the start but we need to listen and heed Paul’s charge to Timothy in this passage. We need to be intentional about keeping a clear conscience and we need to be deliberate about living lives that make God proud.
I think that is even more true of those in leadership. How many times have we seen a prominent pastor or Christian fall because they made choices that went against their consciences, deliberately violating them? Sometimes, it is a pattern of small choices that turn into big problems, sometimes it is big choices right out of the gate but regardless because they didn’t heed Paul’s message, they found themselves in a mess with their lives and ministries decimated like a shipwreck. The more one steps out in faith and ministry the bigger the target on their back and the higher the stakes.
That said, even if we don’t have big ministries we all have the opportunity to shipwreck our lives. It may just not be as public or impact as many people as a famous leader but it matters. The truth is if we’re not careful to live lives that make God proud it is so incredibly easy to slip into sin. It is easy for a little sin to turn into a lot of sin and before we know it we have compromised in ways we never dreamed possible. Instead, we need to keep a clear conscience at all times. We need to do what is good and right and hold ourselves to the standard Jesus set and exemplified.