by Tammy Phillips
January 28, 2021
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and [toward] men. (Acts 24:16 KJV)
The Greek word for exercise in the above verse is used one time in scripture. It means to exercise: take pains; labour; strive.
The English Standard Version translates Acts 24:16:
“So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.”
The Amplified version translate like this:
“Therefore, I always exercise and discipline myself [mortifying my body, deadening my carnal affections, bodily appetites, and worldly desires, endeavoring in all respects] to have a clear (unshaken, blameless) conscience, void of offense toward God and toward men.”
It is easy to puff up and become offended. It is easy to believe a lie or think you know the whole story, when in fact you are just guessing. The enemy of our soul, Satan, loves to feed and fuel the fire of offense. When Satan tried to steal my joy before and after my son’s proposal party, I really, really had to exercise myself to not take the offenses. Think about it this way. With every drop of blood that Jesus dripped on the cross, he exercised himself to be void of offense toward God and man. He did not yell at the Father on the cross, “WHY ME? I do not deserve this!” Instead, he exercised incomprehensible love to all that had beat him, spat at him, mocked him, hated him and to those who crucified him. He said of them, “Father, forgive them? They do not know what they are doing!” He dropped all offense at the cross. Why should we take it?
Thankfully, God also has such a sense of humor. He showed me this illustration. In the past I would have retreated into my turtle shell, taken and worn every hurt. And, I would have retreated from those who “hurt my feelings.” However, God transformed me into bulldawg. Well, I have bulldawg faith and characteristics. He has made me bold, courageous, & tenacious. He has taught me to address issues quickly. (Give no place to the devil.) The Holy Spirit has led me to take a vow of silence on days when I have been hurt. Say what? You heard me. Do not talk about it. Do not text about it. Do not email about it. Do not post about it. Peace. Be still. He has had me keep my mouth quiet a lot lately. “I” have so very many things I would like to say and yet I must remain silent.
Last year, when I chose to be silent after my son’s engagement, one offense was actually a lie from the pits of hell. It was exposed AS SOON AS I chose the vow of silence. Glory to God! The other one…I dealt with when l was led by Father God.
I enCOURAGE you to exercise to have a clear, unshaken conscience, void of offense toward God, man or woman. It might be painful to the flesh. It will be laborious, but I encourage you to strive for it. It will be freedom to your soul.