Wesley discusses our conscience or spirit now, he begins by quoting 2 Corinthians 1:12 and then explains his understanding of conscience, that inward perception that makes us dwell on our actions or past actions.
“This is our rejoicing, the testimony of out conscience, that in simplicity and godly
sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation
in the world.”
2 Cor. 1:12
His entire discussion is based around that phrase “we have had our conversation in the world.” We are set aside to live differently to the world, we are not to follow the ways of the world but to show a different way, the Way of the Cross. Our conscience is no longer lined up with the world but with God.
But it does cause a tension: when in the past we might have acted one way, and God’s way is different. Our conscience knows what we should do (as it is lined up with God’s) but also has that ‘history.’ For example I am struggling in a particular area of my life because my old self would do one thing and that is where my family is at and I want to strike out a new way, but this may cause financial ruin. It is still in that tension and struggling stage with lots of prayer and reflection.
I am not entirely sure which of the possible scenarios is the right thing to do, I don’t know if I am being especially ‘Pharisee’ about it, giving a 1/10th of my herbs or whether it really is the right thing to do. But I don’t know how to explain it: my family thinks I am nuts so won’t the authorities too?
We show the world “The Way” by godly sincerity and “simplicity.” We are not to make things complicated, if we simply live in the Truth then we live by a simple rule. Easy innit!