Voice in your ear
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" Isaiah 30.21
One might say that a person's conscience functions like an in-built moral compass. It is certainly authoritative. Try living in opposition to that inner voice and you will quickly realise how uncomfortable - intolerable even - life becomes... But is it reliable?
Probably more than we realise. We might assume that our consciences are governed by logical reasoning. Occasionally that may be so but, more often than not, our consciences work instinctively. In responding spontaneously to the encounters of everyday life, we are navigated by a complex "algorithm" of personal beliefs and past experiences which prompt our reactions without our realising.
Assessing the reliability of such behaviour is to consider its objective impact. How does the functioning of our own conscience align with those of others, or indeed with our religious beliefs, or moral values? The Bible instructs" Lean not on your own understanding...", yet leaves us in no doubt that we are responsible for our actions. There is a balance to be struck and that requires feeding our consciences so that they are "programmed" with the necessary influences to guide us both authoritatively and reliably.