January 19 – The Weight of a Guilty Conscience


  • Gen. 42:5-45:15


As GOD had revealed to Joseph by a dream, the seven years of severe famine had begun in Egypt and the surrounding region. Back in Canaan, Jacob and his family had run out of food, so he sent the 10 oldest sons to Egypt to buy food. They had no idea that Joseph was actually in charge of the food distribution in Egypt.

When the brothers arrived in Egypt, Joseph recognized them, but they did not recognize Joseph. Joseph accused them of being spies. Joseph told them to return with their youngest brother, Benjamin, in order to prove their innocence. When they heard this, the brothers said:

“We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us. ”And Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not speak to you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us.”
(Gen. 42:21-22 NKJV)

It had been around ten years since Joseph’s brothers had thrown him in the pit and sold him into slavery. When we do something we know is bad, a part of our mind that is called our conscience starts talking to us, making us feel bad about what we’ve done. “Oh, you really messed up now. You’re in big trouble. People are going to find out what you’ve done.” Our conscience typically says things like that when we’re guilty.

A good and healthy conscience will bother you until you tell the truth and do what you can to correct the wrong you’ve done. Ten years is a long time to carry a guilty conscience. It’s near impossible to feel good inside while you’re conscience convicts you of sin. GOD designed it that way, so that we would repent of our sins.

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. As a result, your conscience will bother you at times in your life. Often these mistakes are painful to admit and carry some form of consequences, such as spankings from your parents, lost privileges, or other punishments. But it is always best to make things right as soon as possible, regardless of what happens as a result.


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