One of the most dangerous things to do is to give voice to a sin that someone has not been able to conquer. Specifically, they know that they have done wrong and they are fighting a war with their conscience and we speak up, inadvertently becoming their enemy.
Men will do whatever they can to be at peace with themselves. The war raging in their minds to have their own way is palpable. It may conflict with societal norms, their core beliefs, or their upbringing. When this conflict occurs, the mind will wrestle and either cease from violating their beliefs or attempt to beat them into submission.
Silencing a guilty conscience is an arduous task filled with pain and confusion. We arm ourselves with rationalizations and denials and wade into battle. When we find victory, we can be at peace with our actions and continue on our selfish path. When we lose or find stalemate, our emotions become frayed and fierce.
Paul writes of people having their “own conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:2). If someone is fighting a losing battle in this regard, their frustration and self-loathing will be manifested against us, simply because we are there. In fact, it often has nothing to do with us whatsoever. We have to be mature enough emotionally to see the displaced anger and not take it personally (John 15:18-19).