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November 6, 2023
March 21, 2024

Cultivating Conscience: Conflict

Conscience can be defined as a God-designed and God-given faculty that helps us assess what is good and bad, right and wrong. What role, then, does the conscience play in Christians’ lives? How can it help Christians grow in personal holiness, wise decision-making, and spiritual maturity?

The Austin Stone Institute asked nine writers to compose a liturgy in response to the questions, as applied to a particular area of life. Today’s writer addressed cultivating one’s conscience in relation to conflict.


O Lord, I have been conflict's casualty,
By the thoughtless words of another;
My bruises still tender, my wounds yet to heal.
How do I risk the whip again after being victim to its sting? 

O Lord, I have been conflict's comrade.
Donning self-righteousness as armor, charging forward without concern,
Trampling over another's dignity 
To protect my fragile pride.
Can I ever trust myself to handle division rightly? 

As casualty and comrade meet within me,
Let me greet conflict, not with weapons drawn, but with a table set.
Not with ears deafened by the roar of pride, but ones listening for conscience’s whisper.
Not with eyes hardened by self-righteousness, but with a gaze fixed on You, my King of Peace.
For while conflict is certain, it is not without hope.

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Erin DeGeer
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Austin Stone Institute
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