Highlight: The seared conscience

Do you find yourself so caught in sin you don’t even feel remorseful? We all have a conscience, but if we transgress our conscience too often, Dr. Erwin Lutzer says that we stop feeling any conviction at all.

“The Bible talks about those who have a hardened conscience, seared, it’s cauterized and it’s really insensitive then. About 10% of the population is certifiably narcissistic. That is that their consciences does not trouble them even when they do evil because they have so squashed their conscience. They are so full of anger, they are so full of self-justification.”

Dr. Lutzer highlights two characteristics of someone with a seared conscience.

Double standard of hurt

“They feel their own hurt very keenly, but do not feel the hurt that they are doing to others.”

Dr. Lutzer draws on the story of Cain and Abel from the book of Genesis to illustrate this characteristic.

“Cain kills Abel and then Cain goes away and he begins to cry and says people are going to kill me. Cain, wake up, you just killed your brother and now you’re walking away from that feeling sorry for yourself. That’s exactly what narcissists do, they constantly hurt others but if anybody hurts them, they are sensitive to their own needs.”

The narcissist must always be the center of attention.

“They’re very difficult to teach. Why should they be taught? Because the fact is that they already know everything, that’s why the Bible in the Book of Proverbs talks about them as being fools. They are a filled with a sense of self-love. He becomes his own god and so he begins to believe his own press and to do his own thing.”

The narcissist wants to be the center of attention so badly that they will often do two things to get there.

“Often when they walk into a room somehow they have to become the center of attention; they see everyone else as competition. So what they will do very quickly is make sure that they get the attention either by criticizing somebody else or saying something about themselves, they’re exulted opinion of themselves, their ego has huge needs and they’re difficult to supply.”

Thankfully with God’s help, our conscience can go from being seared to being cleared.


Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer, senior pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago since 1980, is an award-winning author of more than 30 books including Life-Changing Bible Verses You Should Know.

Key Scripture: Psalm 34:1

Featured Songs: Impossible Things – Chris Tomlin; Open Up the Heavens – Meredith Andrews; Thy Will be Done – Hillary Scott

The power of a clear conscience

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