And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 (NKJV)
In the Book of Ephesians, we are told, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God” (Eph. 4:30). So what can we do as Christian believers to grieve the Holy Spirit? Well let’s take a look at the adjoining verses here in Ephesians to see what the Apostle Paul was specifically referring to.
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:29, 31-32 (NKJV)
The first thing we can determine from these verses is there is a huge emphasis on our speech being good and edifying—we can therefore conclude we can grieve the Holy Spirit when we partake in evil speaking. In addition to grieving the Holy Spirit, unedifying speech provides a quick snapshot into a person’s walk with God at that particular moment. When we hear murmuring, slander, backbiting and gossip, it is a clear indication this person is lacking peace within their life. Contrarily, when we hear genuine consistent gracious speech filled with thanks, praise, and encouragement, we know the Spirit is probably strong within them, which means they’re probably abiding in God and staying in His Word.
Paul gives another characteristic known to grieve the Holy Spirit in these verses—it is our unwillingness to forgive others in the same way God forgave us. I think the lack of true forgiveness is a big stumbling point for many of us, as we can easily forget how much we have been forgiven, and yet we can find ourselves being so adamant about holding others accountable (cf. Matt. 18:23-34).
We need to understand we can actually hurt ourselves, both spiritually and physically, when we hold on to unforgiveness. We need to forgive others to keep ourselves safe against the attacks upon our mental health and emotional stability. Anger and bitterness cause stress within our lives, and this quickens the failing of our body. God knew what He was doing when he told us to forgive others.
If we are to be successful in our Christian walk we must have the Holy Spirit guiding and leading us into all understanding (John 14:26). Let’s not give way to any improper temper, unholy speaking, or unrighteous ways, so as to grieve the Holy Spirit. When we have sinned, we need to get right with God immediately by repenting. He will be faithful to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9), and we will be restored with full power from the Holy Spirit.
STUDY QUESTION: According to Ephesians 4:29-32 what grieves the Holy Spirit?
PERSONAL INVENTORY: Is there anything you need to repent of so you can have the power of the Holy Spirit restored within your life?
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Ask God what needs to be addressed within your life. Now give it over to Him. Ask Him to empower you to turn from whatever it is leading you away from God.
PRAYER: Father, thank You for the power of Your Holy Spirit in my life. Help me today to live according to Your Word and empower and fill me up with Your Holy Spirit so I will have everything needed to do what You have planned in my life. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…
Be Blessed, Pastor Scott