Verse: Ephesians 4:30 GNB
30 And do not make God’s Holy Spirit sad; for the Spirit is God’s mark of ownership on you, a guarantee that the day will come when God will set you free.

Today we will continue in the do not section – do not make the Holy Spirit sad with your behavior. That’s an interesting thought – the Holy Spirit can be made sad, or in some translations, it says grieved by our sinful behavior. I have a visceral reaction to my behavior making someone else sad, but I guess if Christ literally died for my sins, He has the right to be sad when I flaunt that sacrifice, right? But He’s also not intending for me to feel guilt, because there is grace for me in everything with Him. Such a paradox to think about.

The second part of this is that there is a “guarantee that the day will come when God will set you free”. Even if you fall short, even if you sin (not that it is a free pass! 😊), even if you grieve His heart – the promise is clear – the day will come and God will set you free. That freedom isn’t contingent upon your perfect behavior, you being the best Christian ever (besides isn’t that spot already taken by one of the Dunns? Just kidding! 😊), or anything other than you choosing to give your heart to God.

I remember when I was with a different church as a teen, and we were told that we had to be good enough all the time and repent of all the sins all the time every day, or we were in danger of losing our salvation. This was a horrible place to live, being told that my friend who lost her battle with mental illness and despair was barred from heaven because in her death she “sinned”. I remember thinking, what if I see a truck coming to hit me and I curse or something – and I don’t get a chance to repent – will I lose my salvation?! That sounded crazy to me. I couldn’t reconcile this idea and the loving God that I had always been taught about and known.

I went and talked with my Uncle Tim (a source of so much support and love for me) and he asked me if you could give back a gift. I said, no. So, then he said, then how can you lose something you did nothing to earn in the first place – God gave you the free gift of salvation – so if you couldn’t do anything to earn it, how can you do anything to lose it? It was such and ah ha moment for me, of course God wouldn’t be so fickle as to cast me aside for sinning when He knows I’m not perfect! He was also quick to note that it’s not a free pass to sin all I want because God will just forgive me anyway! But how freeing it was to not be concerned that I could lose my salvation – a guarantee that the day will come when God will set me free!

God, I pray that You will show us the areas where we grieve Your heart, and that we can see them through Your eyes of love instead of guilt and shame. I thank You that Your love and sacrifice isn’t conditional on our behavior but perfect because of who You are.

Author: Candice Gifford