1 Corinthians 4:4
My conscience is clear, but that isn't what matters. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide. (NLT)
While my computer is on there is a background job running that checks to see if any of the files I attempt to open or the email that I receive contains a known virus. To be certain that the program always has a current set of virus definitions, it also checks in with the company that created the program to automatically download the up to date set. It does this in the background as well.
When it finds a file that appears to be infected, I have to choose to use it or lose it. I make the ultimate choice. It is a warning to me of potential danger. I can heed the warning or ignore it. Ignoring it opens me up to possible data loss and hours of reconstructing my hard disk.
I believe that our conscience works in much the same manner. It is a built in mechanism that runs in the background, in our sub-conscience. It sifts through all the experiences of our past and all our decisions and the results of those decisions to determine if what we are about to do is good or bad. We seem to know in advance when we are treading on dangerous ground. But all it is is a warning mechanism. We make the choice to go or not go.
Sometimes we think of this as the Holy Spirit guiding us, but is He? All persons have a conscience that was loaded before we were born. The updates came from our life experiences and our decisions. That is why a child seems to know right from wrong better than some adults we know.
When we become believers, He sends the Holy Spirit to live inside of us. Holy Spirit, also known as Christ within, is there to comfort us, to encourage us, and to instruct us. He is not our conscience. We must now learn to listen to Him for our guidance.