A Clean Slate – Today’s Youth Devotion

A Clean Slate

Bible Reading: Acts 24:10-16

I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and everyone else. Acts 24:16

THE NEXT TIME your teacher erases the chalkboard at school, watch closely. That dark surface, once covered with math problems or vocabulary words or whatever else was up there, is suddenly wiped clean so that something new can be written. That’s where we get the term “a clean slate,” which means a chance to start over-a new beginning.

Your conscience is a lot like your classroom chalkboard. All your negative thoughts, actions, and feelings cause marks on your conscience, kind of like the chalk marks on the chalkboard. Yet your conscience is more than just a board that records those marks. A conscience can actually tell you if what you’re thinking (or how you’re feeling or what you’re going to do) is right or wrong. It’s sort of a self-correcting chalkboard. (Now, wouldn’t that be nice in Algebra I?)

Your conscience “feels” dirty when you choose wrong-kind of like an unwashed chalkboard-and clean when you choose right-like a chalkboard that’s been erased and washed. Your conscience is that part of your soul that sends messages to your spirit telling you right from wrong.

So what do you do when those “chalk marks” pile up on the chalkboard of your soul? No problem. Just call in the Great Eraser-God. Tell him that you desire a clean slate. Then ask him to forgive your sins. Ask for the strength and wisdom to make better decisions in the future. And thank him for giving you a conscience to know right from wrong.

Remember that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, KJV).

REFLECT: What is the state of your conscience right now—full of dirty marks or a clean slate? What can you do if you have a “dirty conscience”?

ACT: Offer to clean the chalkboard today for your favorite teacher—or maybe even for your least favorite teacher. Think about the clean slate the Lord offers to those who come to him for forgiveness.

PRAY: “God, I need a clean slate in the area of_________.  Please forgive me for_________. Give me the wisdom I need to make a better decision next time when________. Thanks for the conscience you’ve given me to help me know I needed to talk to you about this.”