Well .... you might then need to question what kind of conscience you have....
Paul the apostle states in Corinthians... that we can have a clear conscience, yet not be innocent.
(King David asked God's Spirit to search him and bring up those hidden areas of the heart... the heart is a holding chamber that holds the issues of life or spiritual death.)
In these cases we need to Ask God to reason with us...and God will... in fact; God says in the Scriptures..."Come reason with me!"
Also read these verses in 1 Cor: 3:21-4:7- especially concentrate on where Paul (using himself as the example) states >>... "My conscience may be clear, but I am not innocent!" There in, is a wealth of thought .... for us... that is why I mentioned King David too, as he addresses those hidden parts of himself to God. Another person to study is Jacob; who wrestled with God (or the Angel of God) all night (maybe with his conscience/ double mindedness, etc). In the end he doesn't let go until he receives a blessing form God; (he couldn't stop wrestling with that Spiritual being ~ maybe there is a ton more to see in this passage)... then he walks away from that event with a limp for the rest of his life ~ A broken part, brokenness; yet aware (which indicates to me, he was humbled and well knew it.. felt that for his entire life... in heart, mind, conscience, and perhaps physically as well... a great spiritual humbling occurred there in his darkest hours of the soul)... Later, God re-names... him .... chanGed his name from Jacob to .... Israel... is real. I've wondered if that made him' more real"... lots to consider in all of how powerful the conscience is, how it can be seared... also, what is needful to happen before a man/woman is made humble enough to feel the loss of who s/he really is ~ understanding in a new way how much we have wandered away from who we truly are.
A clear conscience doesn't necessarily equate...
With the ideal... that all is well within our being... as Paul says... *While my conscience is clear, I am not innocent!"
Powerful reasoning takes us into a sojourn...
and a clear conscience may be our doing, or un~dewing!
Asking God to make us come into the reality of REALness (our true essence) our inner sanctum where our real spirit resides.. will prosper us more than staying in a realm that is false. Maybe then, that is where forgiveness and repentance happens, even though... we may walk with a limp, spiritually, in a more humbled state... of being!
A Beautiful Promise of love and acceptance with forgiveness!
" Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18)
"He will again have compassion on us;
He will vanquish our iniquities.
You will cast out all our sins
into the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:19)
"As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us." (Ps: 103:12)
I guess when we just humble ourselves enough to be willing to hear what God's Spirit reveals to us... it becomes needful to pour out all the anguish that our souls contain! To understand the power of the healing benefits that will come from God; all those wonderful blessings God yearns to give us... makes it easier to do that sojourn with God... taking us out of the kind of self ~ justification that keeps us chained to ensnaring behaviours which only harm us, haunt us, guilt us to death, casting shadows over every part of our lives... and cause us to remain as troubled souls. Another benefit of forgiveness is the healing we receive, it’s expansive taking us out of blaming others for our troubled lives, and we also become accountable. That's when the burdens, illness of the soul, of death are lifted, and washed away. Also there are other benefits... as when we are truly repentant for ourselves, we show more mercy to one another; understanding takes us out of misery and misunderstanding; our essence becomes other people oriented, desiring to help all or any who are afflicted with the pain.... of the kind of self justification that imprisons people.
A big secret to moving forward to finding grace, is realizing... that God is for us all, not against us... so we must be willing to view God differently, because often our image of God has been so distorted!
(Thanks for offering this question; as it serves me well too!)