“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30
You and I can make the sweet Spirit of God feel sad about how we’re living. Although all people can resist Him, no one can bring grief to Him like the children of God He indwells. In a similar way, no can hurt you as much as those who you are closest to. How and when do we grieve the Holy Spirit?
One way is by allowing hatred to fill our hearts, and slander to fill our mouths. The verse immediately after the one quoted above says: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:31) God loves, and Jesus died for every person you know and don’t know. When we treat others harshly it hurts God and He takes it personally. Jesus said, “whatever you do to the least of these, you are doing to Me.” When we accuse and tear down each other we are actually doing the devil’s work for him. He is called the “accuser of the brethren,” who accuses people to God day and night. When we do the same we are participating in darkness, even if in our opinion the accusations are true. God alone has the right and the purity to pass judgment on others. If you want the Holy Spirit to hang out near you, then learn to be loving and kind in your words. Seek to find the best in others and try to encourage them.
We also grieve the Holy Spirit when we ignore Him or limit what we think He can or should do. Jesus said to His disciples: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you shall be My witnesses…” (Acts 1:8) In Acts 2 we have the initial pouring out of the Spirit and then the rest of Acts tells how they changed the world through the Spirit’s power. Many Christians today seem to be slightly afraid of the Holy Spirit because they’ve heard of the experiences of others that sound scary. Yet God’s plan today is the same as then. He wants to partner with ordinary people to do extraordinary things through the power of His Spirit. God wants to speak through us, heal through us, and bring His gifts through us today. When we say “no” to Him, or try to dictate to Him what He can and can’t do through our lives, we grieve the Spirit.
Search your heart and ask God how you may have grieved the Holy Spirit. If you have, ask for the forgiveness He offers us through Jesus, and tell Him you want to walk close to Him again.