"You can really tell right from wrong because when you hit someone, you feel sorry for them," says David, age 9. "Like if you kick someone in the knee, you feel bad," adds Paul, 10.
"I feel a feeling that feels like 'no,' " says Sarah, 7. "You get a tingling feeling when you do something wrong," says Nicole, 9. "A nice feeling comes when you do something right."
Oh yes, that tingling feeling. I remember it well, especially when Dad applied his hand to the seat of my pants.
"When I start to do something wrong, I feel like I have a stomachache," Scott, 10, says. "The heart pumps fast when you are doing wrong and pumps slow when you are doing good," Taylor, 10, adds.
A lie detector measures the increased heart rate and perspiration that usually go with lying.
That "little thing inside you" is "your conscience telling you right or wrong," says Sean, 9. In fact, Lyndon, 9, says, "Always let your conscience be your guide."
Conscience can be a reliable guide, but it's not infallible. The New Testament writers describe the conscience as capable of being weak, defiled, evil and even "seared with a hot iron," totally incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong.
An example of a finely tuned conscience is provided by Madison, 9: "If it's a sneaky or tricky thing, it's wrong."
Gray, 8, shows us his mother's influence: "If you think your mom wouldn't let you do it, then you shouldn't do it." Nicole, 10, adds: "I know right from wrong because my mom and dad taught me. Also, I read the Bible."
Nicole, if your parents have looked to the Bible as their standard, consider yourself blessed.
The Apostle Paul wrote the following to a young minister named Timothy: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (II Timothy 3:16-17).
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