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The Rev. John Gunn The Rev. John Gunn
The 20th Century produced many outstanding writers. One whose literary accomplishment stands as a living monument is the pastor, newspaper columnist and author, John R. Gunn (1877-1956). On a wide variety of subjects he left us an abundance of messages that warm the soul and touch the heart.

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Good Strong Conscience

August 18, 2011

Let me ask you a question - Do you have a good strong conscience that speaks harshly to you when you do the wrong thing? - saying, 'don't do that' or 'you shouldn't have said that'. Let me ask you this - Are you glad you have a conscience? Because you certainly should be glad.

Though you may think otherwise, you were not born with a conscience - infants have no conscience. A conscience has to be made slowly and over a great period of time and in early years it may be painful, involving many spankings. 'Spare the rod and spoil the child' is an old saying that has a great deal of truth in it, but a conscience isn't made just by scolding a child, not at all. It's made mostly through an example set before the child and also through what the person bringing up the child believes. It may be built on happy years of shared faith.

Does the person in charge of the child have ethics, morals, standards? If a mother and father always tell the truth, even when that truth may be detrimental to themselves, then the child will learn this is the thing to do and thus will learn always to tell the truth.

If you have a conscience in good workig order, you should thank whoever brought you up. Are you responsible for the rearing of a child now? Then here is a great opportunity for you; an opportunity to build a conscience so that one day, the child will not have to stop and ponder about what to do and what not to do. He'll know the difference between right and wrong. And if you have done your job well, the child will be grateful to you for the conscience you have helped him develop.

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