Acts 24:16 – So, I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward God and man.
Lord God, the standard that Paul sets by his confession and example is high and the expectation is clear. You want me to keep my conscience clear of offense before God and man. I often think, O God, of how my action, my works, or even my thoughts would be a stench to you. But many times I don’t even think about how a particular action or decision might offend another human being. But Paul understood that and worked toward keeping his conscience clear before God and man. Paul entered the temple to honor you and he was going to do his best not to offend the Jews who were also there. My life is a tightrope lived between love for you and my neighbor. Love for you is always first, but that does not mean that love for my neighbor his absent or neglected. Forgive me for living in a way that offends you or my neighbor. And help me, more and more every day, to take them into account when I live my life. I don’t live in a vacuum where my actions only affect me and you. Teach me and help me to live in love for you and for them. Amen.