Do not grieve the Holy Spirit
In the middle of the pericope Paul calls a halt. Sort of like a sandwich: two slices of bread with something in the middle. The first slice is the verses telling us not to lie, not to become angry, not to give the devil a hold, not to steal, and not to tell dirty jokes. The second slice is the verses following after this, taking a strong stand against bitterness, having a short temper, swearing, and acting against others.
Normally the middle part of the sandwich is the most important part, the part that it is all about. The bread part doesn’t taste of much, but it’s the middle part that gives it a kick. And verse 30 gives the kick: Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.
Actually Paul does want us to come to a stop for a moment, because we read so quickly over all those proposals for our lives that we do not realize the impact thereof. We do tend to listen half heartedly. As if it’s your mother nagging you about picking up your clothes from your bedroom floor. Yes, Mo-om! I know, I will pick them up. The same with Paul’s suggestion: Yes, Paul, I know we have to live right. Sorry.
These are not just a few rules we should try to remember. No, this is a way of life. These are not optional characteristics that we can put on when it suits us. No, we must understand their real impact.
The Holy Spirit lives in us and when we step into these holes and fall down, the Holy Spirit is very hurt. The spirit has such wonderful dreams for us. He wants to live with you within the will of God and everything in Him calls out to you not to cross the lines. When it does happen, when you do the wrong things, the Spirit is deeply disappointed.
When we accept God as our Saviour, we receive the Spirit. He comes and lives inside us. He helps us to align our lives to God’s will. He helps us to understand what is right and wrong and to choose the right road. But the choice is always ours. The Spirit will never force us.
And when I look at my own life this past week, I see a few places where I did step exactly into the hole, where I was angry, where I wasn’t always a 100% honest, where I left a loophole for the devil. And I can imagine the tears rolling down the Holy Spirit’s face. It’s my fault. I made the wrong choices.
Fortunately, God’s grace is so great that the Holy Spirit does not move out. Amidst his tears He hangs on even though it’s not so nice for Him. He keeps on hoping that the next sermon, or movie, or song, or book, or conversation with a friend will give a better understanding of the right kind of life and that actions will improve next time.
Let’s confess our sin before the Holy Spirit. Let’s grieve with Him about wrong choices. Let’s dry his tears and try again to live in such a way that it will bring Him joy. May the Spirit’s tears become a thing of the past.
Where do you grieve the Holy Spirit?
What can you do to remove those actions from your life?
What can you do to give the Holy Spirit joy?
Lord, I don’t feel good. I know there are things in my life that makes the Holy Spirit not to enjoy living inside me. Please help me, Father, to be serious about what You propose for our lives. I really, really want to live inside your will. Please help me to make the right choices. Amen