“And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:30-32
Our scripture for today says for us to not grieve the Holly Spirit of God. Yet people often do. Our actions cause God to lament or feel sorrow; why would we do that to our loving God? Well, people think of themselves first and often think of God as an afterthought. That is just the opposite of what we should do. Remember, God provided everything to us – a beautiful planet to live on, food, water, a home, and all the other little necessities of life. He also provided His Son to die for us and rise again, so that we can have eternal life and a personal relationship with God.
Fortunately, God shared with us what to do in order to keep from grieving Him. We should avoid bitterness (resentfulness), wrath (rage), anger, clamor (loud shouting), evil speaking (speaking badly about someone), and put all this out of our lives, including malice (vindictiveness).
Being bitter or resentful for the things or situations that plague our lives is unproductive. If we are saved, we know that these things and situations are part of God’s plan and they are there to teach us something. It’s much more productive to ask God what he’s showing you, by praying about it, and being content in knowing that God is in control and he never makes mistakes.
Wrath and anger never really accomplish much either. They raise your blood pressure, cause stress and stress related disorders, causing others stress if you express that anger, and you waist precious time and energy. Now occasionally righteous anger is appropriate, but it still causes the problems I mentioned earlier. We should be content or as the Bible says it, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing…” True joy is contentment with the provisions and life God has graciously provided for you.
We should also be careful about what we say and how we say it. Shouting at people may get your point across, but it will not persuade anyone to listen to what you’re saying. The person getting yelled at may concede the point, but only to shut you up, not because they truly understand your point.
Speaking badly about someone is also very harmful. People are very social and want to talk, so if they don’t have anything better to talk about they may talk badly about other people. God hates this. We should always try to uplift or encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ, and anyone else we encounter. Indulging in gossip or talking about people may also damage your testimony and credibility. If the “evil speaking” gets back to the person you’re talking about, you may also have to deal with their hurt feeling and possible anger at what you have done. No wonder this behavior grieves the Holy Spirit.
Most importantly, we must avoid malice or vindictiveness, because it hurts us and grieves God. It rarely affects the person or situation causing these feelings in us. It also can’t rectify the situation that’s causing these feelings. We bear the burden of these feelings. It’s another waste of time and energy, so we should avoid malice or vindictiveness or vengeful feelings. These emotions grieve God.
Fortunately, in our passage today you also see God’s true path for us. We are to be, “…kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” If we follow God’s plan we will not grieve the Holy Spirit, we will bless the Holy Spirit. We will be grateful and content in knowing our acts of kindness, our tenderheartedness, our willingness to forgive, will bless the Lord. It will show God that we are committed to him and His kingdom, and that we are grateful for all that he has done for us. Don’t you want to bless the Lord today? I know I do.
Lord, put me on a mission to always be kind to people and compassionate. Help me forgive anyone that wrongs me and grant me the ability to forgive them quickly and completely. In Jesus’ name and to Him I pray, Amen!