Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made it shipwreck: 1 Timothy 1:19
As with the Titanic, danger can take over with the misuse of either of these instruments. Simply mis-steering, missing sight of the lighthouse in a storm and running aground on rocks, or having an anchor break loose at the wrong moment; all can cause major problems and even shipwreck.
As a general rule, the wheel... our will, can not function by itself in any useful way. It spins around whichever way the wind blows, and the waves tend to toss the ship to and fro, without a masterful hand at the wheel. However, the lighthouse can do nothing of itself to pilot the ship. It is a light to show the way. Jesus, and the Word of God is a light to lighten our way.
The anchor has a different function altogether. Rather than speed and/or direction (acceleration,) the anchor holds the ship in a position from which the Pilot does not wish to stray. The word conscience means co-knowing, and comes from the idea that we know on two different levels that operate side-by-side. The one level of conscience is our interaction with the world around us, and is affected by our 5 senses. This outer level is the one we tend to rely on too often, following our senses, and whatever feels right. The other level is the inner level, also known as the sub-conscience in some situations. This is affected totally by our brain, and filtered by our learned morality, our past experiences, and our human spirit, as well as the Spirit of God... the Holy Ghost.
So, as you can see, the only way moral development or morality can be acquired is by tuning into the spiritual world, as in lining your own spirit up with the Spirit of God, to consider what is the right path. We say that the Bible is our guide, but it really can not guide us if we don't allow it to, any more than the Holy Ghost can. Bible reading can be totally an external senses activity, or we can read the Bible, with the spirit in tune. The latter is much more difficult. Prayer is more often a spiritual activity, probably than Bible reading, for some people,because it's simple enough to force your body to hold the book in your hand, and your brain to read the words, yet only as a physical activity, while your "mind" or spirit go to the beach. That is not as easy when you are praying, though sometimes you do find yourself making out a grocery list while praying. That's just the nature of the beast. Either way, you can see how easy it could be to become shipwrecked. When a sailor sees he is being pulled off course, he needs something to hold him to the course.
Our conscience acts as an anchor, restraining us from doing or saying something that goes against our faith in God. When we feel the anchor drop, and yet continue to pull against it, dragging it along, it will eventually break... or even break apart the ship... or allow it to be dashed upon the rocks. The Bible refers to the process of repeatedly violating your own conscience and then having it "broken" as a reprobate mind.
Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. 1 Timothy 1:20
"My Lord, if my children go on in their sins, it will not be from ignorance they perish, and my soul must bear swift witness against them at the day of judgment, if they lay not hold of Christ."