I Can’t Get Away from Myself.
1 Peter 3:15-16, Part 3. A good conscience.
“My biggest enemy is not you, it’s me. I am my biggest enemy, hey man, I can’t get away from myself. I go to bed with myself every night. Every time I sit down to eat I’m right there. When I shave my face I’m looking at me right through the mirror. There’s nowhere I can go to get away from me. I’m on me 24/7.”Pastor Charles Lawson 1Pastor Charles Lawson. Sunday (Morning) Preaching: Nov 21 2021 available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wusvPlONkCc&t=463s time stamp at 15.44 min
I chuckled to myself when I first heard this, as I found it rather comical and because intrinsically I could see myself in relation to what was being said. As I pondered the statements, the apparent foolishness of them disappeared. Here was captured the essence of the meaning of the term “identity”, something that philosophers have struggled with for some time. Simple, easy to understand even to the person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts, or namely a “Philistine”.
“Bang” there goes that “Eureka” moment. I need to be able to live with myself and to look at myself in the mirror and that is a matter of conscience. So, I need to have a good conscience, so that I cannot use a line of reasoning that is simply meant to manipulate an argument and hence peoples’ perspectives, rather than to speak the truth. There has to be a fear of God, reverence for his truth and a meekness and respectfulness that should flow from the heart of a person who already has “sanctified Christ as Lord in his heart”.
 …………being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear:  having a good conscience; that, wherein ye are spoken against, they may be put to shame who revile your good manner of life in Christ.(I Peter 3:15-16 [ASV])
How can I conduct my apologetic (regarding the hope that is within me 1 Pet 1:3-4) in another way? We live in a context where we know that there is in essence going to be objection and push-back. However I am not allowed to sully my conscience by the employment of guile, mendacity and deceit. This is what verse 16 speaks to.
Consider what the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary remarks: “Having a good conscience—the secret spring of readiness to give account of our hope. So hope and good conscience go together in Acts 24:15, 16. Profession without practice has no weight. But those who have a good conscience can afford to give an account of their hope “with meekness.”2https://biblehub.com/commentaries/jfb/1_peter/3.htm ” They’re basically saying “if you’re going to talk the talk, you need to walk the walk. Ouch! that just hurts a modern mentality. Just out of curiosity “ having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.” is actually what Acts 24:15-16. says.
Another commentary Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges comments on having a good conscience. “Stress is laid on this condition as warning men that no skill of speech would do the work of the apologist rightly, if his life were inconsistent with his profession.” 3https://biblehub.com/commentaries/cambridge/1_peter/3.htm
That term conscience means a lot, and we’re to show how having a good one impacts our lives. What do we mean by that? Our speech, words, thinking and especially how we respond to difficulty, trials and tribulations testify to our conscience and hope, and either witness for or against us, on the basis of how we respond to them. (for further study seen https://biblehub.com/commentaries/vws/1_peter/3.htm)
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.(II Corinthians 13:14 [ASV])
- 1Pastor Charles Lawson. Sunday (Morning) Preaching: Nov 21 2021 available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wusvPlONkCc&t=463s time stamp at 15.44 min