Our conscience is our compass

Science with a twist

Show your kids how a compass helps you read a map correctly and find your way.

Discussion point: Your conscience works like an internal compass, pointing you toward God’s way.

For this activity, you will need a compass and a map. The goal is to discuss how a person’s conscience can work like a compass when the person chooses to listen to God’s directions.

  • Begin by showing your child a map of your city or town. Point out how the map is marked with the directions north, south, east and west. Show your child some neighbourhood landmarks and ask them to determine whether those landmarks are north, south, east or west of your house.
  • Next, show your child how to use the compass by lining up the floating arrow on the compass with the “N” for north. Based on the reading from the compass, have your child tell you which direction is which, from inside your home. Help your child identify the direction of the back yard, the front street and your neighbours’ houses.
  • When your child has had sufficient opportunity to explore using the compass, use the questions for discussion to relate their compass experience to discerning right from wrong and finding direction from God.
  • Pray with your children and ask God to put on them the same Spirit that rested on Jesus so they have wisdom and understanding.

Note: If your child is older and loves outdoor activities, you may want to expand this activity by going geocaching or orienteering.

Questions for discussion
  • What is a compass used for?
  • How is a conscience like a compass?
  • When is a compass useless?
  • When is a conscience no longer useful?
  • How can we deaden our consciences?
  • How can we decide what is right and what is wrong?
Key concepts

A compass points in the direction of north and helps hikers find their way to their destination. But a broken compass is of no use to a hiker and can even send them off course. God gives us an inner voice called a conscience. It’s the quiet prompting we hear inside of us that God uses to encourage us to do what is right. A conscience is like a compass that gives us direction in the choices we make, showing which choice is the right way to go.

A person who believes that God’s commands in the Bible show how we should live and act has an inner compass that is functioning correctly. A person who has a “faulty” conscience is someone who makes decisions based on what they think is right, rather than using God’s Word to decide right from wrong.

If we listen to our conscience, our conscience stays sensitive to leading from God’s Spirit. However, if we constantly ignore the prompting of God’s Spirit through our conscience, it becomes “deadened” and we begin to find it easier and easier to ignore God’s guidance.

As you get older, you will have to make more and more choices on your own about what is right and wrong. It’s important that you start practicing now, building a habit of “running things by God” and asking His Spirit to show you what is a good choice, and what is not.

Relevant Scripture

Isaiah 11:1-2 “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

James 3:13 “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.