And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
— Ephesians 4:30
Today I want to talk about grieving the Holy Spirit, which I am certain none of us wants to do. That’s why it’s so important for us to know what the Bible says about grieving the Holy Spirit — so we know how to avoid that pitfall! So let’s look at Ephesians 4:30, which says, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
I want to especially draw your attention to the word “grieve” in this verse, which is the Greek word lupete. This was a word that described pain or someone that was wounded by someone else. It could be used to depict the emotions of a betrayed spouse — feeling deceived, lied to, misled, hurt, wounded, and abused. All of these portray the emotions of a spouse who has discovered that her or her mate has been unfaithful and feels very hurt, grieved, and wounded. The word lupete would describe all of those painful emotions.
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We find the word lupete was used by Paul to describe how we affect the indwelling Holy Spirit when we embrace worldliness. There is no doubt as to what Paul was telling us. When we cease to make our relationship with the Holy Spirit the number-one priority in our lives and let other things take His rightful place, it hurts and deeply grieves Him. After all He has done for us, it is simply grievous to the One who dwells within us whenever we do anything to yield our hearts and souls to worldliness.
The Holy Spirit is the One who lives in us, leads us, guides us, teaches us, reminds us, comforts us, seals us, sanctifies us, empowers us, and works to produce the character of Christ in us. He has been sent to reveal the will of God, which is the mind of Christ and to give us the victory Christ won through the Cross and His resurrection. The Holy Spirit is here for us. That is why He was sent. Therefore, when we ignore Him, turn a deaf ear to Him, or consistently disobey what He nudges us to do, it grieves Him. It would grieve you, too, if you were the Holy Spirit.
But let’s be even more specific about what grieves the Holy Spirit. The verses preceding and following this one about grieving Him say to put away “lying” (v. 25), “let not the sun go down upon your wrath (v. 26), “neither give place to the devil” (v. 27), “steal no more” (v. 28), “let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth” (v. 29), and, finally, “let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice (v. 31). All these things “grieve” the Holy Spirit.
Unfortunately, Paul was speaking to Christians when he wrote these verses. That means Christians were doing these things! They were lying, holding on to grudges, giving place to the devil, stealing, talking evil about one another, giving bitterness a place in their hearts, being angry, and having malice toward each other. No wonder the Holy Spirit was grieved!
The fact that Paul used the word “grieve” — the Greek word lupete — tells us that the Holy Spirit felt wounded by these believers. He felt like a spouse who was being dragged through the mud by an unfaithful mate. After doing all that He had done within them, how could they now give in to their flesh in such an ungodly manner?
We need to remember that Someone lives inside us whose name is the Holy Spirit. The reason He is called the Holy Spirit is that He is holy. Romans 1:4 actually calls Him “the spirit of holiness.” That is who He is, and that is what He has come to produce in our lives.
You would never think of throwing mud and garbage all over a beautiful cathedral. Your conscience wouldn’t bear the guilt of knowing that you had personally desecrated a finely decorated church building! Yet the temple of the Holy Spirit called you is much more valuable to God than a fine church building!
The Holy Spirit doesn’t live in buildings. He lives in each of us as believers. Yet in spite of this, we throw garbage into our lives and drag Him through the mud, never thinking of how it must grieve the Spirit of Holiness who lives inside us.
According to Ephesians 4, the sins that we find most difficult to resist are usually inward attitudes such as grudges, bitterness, anger, or malice. But we shouldn’t harbor these attitudes in our lives for even a minute, if for no other reason than because we know they grieve the Holy Spirit.
The next time you want to hold resentment in your heart toward someone, ask yourself the question, Is this attitude going to grieve the Holy Spirit in my life? If you simply make yourself more aware of the Spirit’s indwelling presence, it will help you change the way you think and live. It will most definitely help you think before you talk and act!
Remember that the Holy Spirit lives inside you. What you do in your life today, you do to Him as well. Where you go today, you take Him with you. When you go to the movies, He goes with you. What you look at on the Internet, He watches with you. When you choose to sin, you are dragging Him with you through that filth. Do you really want to grieve Him? Of course not! So make a decision today to never forget — the Holy Spirit lives inside you, and He deserves your utmost respect and honor in all you say and do!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Holy Spirit, I repent for the times that I have subjected You to ugliness and ungodliness that I have tolerated in my life. I am truly sorry. It is my heart’s desire to honor You and Your holy presence in all I do and say. After all the wonderful things You have done in me to change me, to restore me, and to make my life better, I am so sorry that I have ever done anything that would bring pain or sorrow to You. I repent — and that means I am changing my behavior, and I am going to start right now.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I live continually aware of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence in my life. I am very aware that He lives inside me — so much so that this realization impacts how I live each day. Choosing to deliberately give Him my attention helps me live in such a way that my life brings honor to Him. I am so thankful for my salvation and the infilling of the Holy Spirit and for the daily power He provides to me. The last thing I’d ever want to do is to bring pain and sorrow to the Holy Spirit because I tolerated ungodly attitudes or behaviors in my life. I declare that from this moment onward, I am going to live with the consciousness that the spirit of holiness lives in me!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Have you ever been aware of a moment when you brought pain to the Holy Spirit by your attitudes or actions? Have you knowingly done something you knew was wrong — and you knew it caused the Holy Spirit to be grieved?
- What actions do you need to take in order to stop whatever you’ve been doing that brings Him pain?
- If you were advising another believer about what to do in these cases, what advice would you give him or her? In what ways can you apply the same advice to yourself?