1 Peter 3:16 KJV
Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
In this story, we want to learn about the biblical principle of “Having a good conscience.” To make it easy for you to learn, we will use an oyster shell and a misplaced crab. Have you ever eaten an oyster? What about a crab? To help you better learn, you should ask mom or dad to make you some Oyster Stew . All little boys and girls should eat oysters, or crabs, or crabs and oysters together. The trouble comes when you are eating oyster stew, and find a small creature that does not belong there.
If you do find a strange creature in your oyster stew and before you yell “eeewwwww” first ask mom if she meant to make you strange creature stew. If she says “no” then what you thought you knew is true; a strange creature has infiltrated your oyster stew; now it’s time to say “eeewwww.” Wait, it turns out that the strange creature in your oyster stew is just a crab. This is why little boys and girls should eat oysters and crabs, then they know the difference between an oyster stew and strange creature stew, or oyster stew with a crab.
There’s a Crab in my Oyster Stew
The crab came out of an oyster shell, but do you know how it got there? I will tell you; oysters live under the water on the ocean floor. On bright sunny days, when the sun is beaming nice and warm the oyster will open its shell and allow the cool water to pass through. This is a wonderful time for the oyster, but it is also dangerous.
See, with the oyster shell wide open, hungry fish begin to secretly notice. The fish see the oyster, but the oyster does not see the fish. The oyster was not made in the image of God, the oyster does not have eyes to see with; he does not have ears to hear with; he does not have a nose to smell with. The oyster can only feel, and when he feels the presence of a fish it is often far too late he is about to be eaten.
Now, the crab lives near the oyster, but the crab has eyes to see. The crab also has legs so he can run away, but fish can often swim faster than the crab can run. If a fish chases him, he must get to safety quickly or he will be caught and eaten. So the crafty crab will find an oyster with his shell open enjoying the day. Then the crab will sneak up to the open oyster shell and jump in with the oyster. because the oyster can only feel, as soon as he feels the crab inside he quickly closes his shell locking both the oyster and the crab inside. While there, they become friends, the crab cannot leave now until the oyster sets him free.
But while inside the oyster shell, both the crab and the oyster are safe there together. Soon, they begin to protect each other. The oyster will open his shell, and the crab will stretch his eyes up high and search for sneaky hungry fish. When the crab sees a fish coming, he will pinch the oyster causing him to quickly close his shell locking them safely inside. The crab must use his eyes diligently and the oyster must close his shell quickly, but together they can stay safe.
Our Conscience needs God’s help
In many ways, people are like the oyster. It is very difficult to see sin without God’s help. How can we know what to listen to without God’s guidance? We need God’s help to run away from sin. God gave us the help we need so that we do not displease him. To help us with that, God gave us a conscience. A simple definition of the word Conscience is the judgment of right and wrong. God expects us to do right, that is to obey his word. God is displeased when we make wrong choices and act in sinful ways. If we will trust God’s word, he will help us see the enemy properly. He will help us listen to goodly things. He will help us run away from sin when temptation comes.
Let me tell you a quick story to help you understand. One beautiful summer day, a boy named Elijah found it so difficult to focus on his schoolwork. The more the sun was shining and the more the birds were singing, Elijah felt like his school work was becoming a terrible prison. He knows that his father and his mother will not give him permission to go outside and play, especially with school work left to complete. Soon, Elijah began to cough out loud and hold his head as though he had a fever; he was pretending to be sick. His mother came in and told him “Lay down, rest for a few hours and I will come back and check on you.”
When she left the room, Elijah snuck outside to play, intending to return before his mother came back to check on him. He made his way quietly out the door, but as he snuck down the stairs he began to think about what he was doing. His conscience began to speak loudly within his head. “Elijah, this is wicked, you have lied to your mother, you did not finish your school work, and now you have displeased God.” Now he has a choice to make, he can continue doing wrong and sneak down the steps; of course, if he does he will be miserable and nervous the entire time he is playing outside. Or, he can obey the conscience that God gave him and return to complete his schoolwork.
The oyster would be eaten if he did not obey the pinch of the crab. The crab can see the danger coming and pinches the oyster for his own safety and protection. You will cause harm if you do not obey the conscience that God gave you. If children want to be saved from the trouble sin causes, it’s important to be quick to obey and then they will “have a good conscience.”
1 Peter 3:16 KJV
“Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.”
I have greatly enjoyed the writings of men like W. Graham Scroggie I greatly encourage you to take some time to read and study his various series of books. They will be a great help to you and your biblical understanding in the Christian life.
Thomas and Kristin Irvin
Ambassadors for Christ
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Great illustration. Saving this for later use.