Verse: Ephesians 4:30-32
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Candice did a great job yesterday showing us the power of God’s guarantee. She touched on the first part of this verse when she shared how people had used the “grieving the Holy Spirit” comment as a fear tactic against her when she was younger. I want to look at it again today in light of verses 31 and 32.

What grieves the Holy Spirit? If something grieves the Holy Spirit, I’m thinking we should probably steer clear of it, so let’s look at what he’s actually talking about.

What I find interesting is what Paul says does grieve the Spirit. He doesn’t say the love of money, or having idolatrous relationships, or even sin in general. What grieves the Spirit according to this passage?  When we treat each other poorly, we grieve the Spirit. 

I find it so telling that again and again the authors of the New Testament reiterate the importance of us needing to love each other well (1 Peter 4:8; John 4:7-8; John 13:34; and so on). It was a priority of the early church to continue to hammer that home because they knew how easy it is to get into broken relationships. Our care and concern for each other, our sacrificial love for each other, our deep love for one another, are not only evidence of our faith, but a powerful testimony to the world around us. David wrote poetically many years before Paul wrote this saying, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)

As you read this verse devotionally (with your heart and not just your head) today, can you step back and ask the Lord if there are any broken relationships in your life right now? Are you harboring any bitterness or unforgiveness? Are there any steps of forgiveness that you need to take? Can we ask the deep and difficult questions of the Holy Spirit, asking him to reveal if we are, in fact, grieving him by our lack of love or forgiveness? The great things is that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” This isn’t about being condemned. It’s about re-ordering our affections according the Way of Jesus, so that we can live in the fullness of his love and life.

Ask the Lord to gently reveal to your heart if there is any healing that you need from him in the area of relationships, and also if there are any practical steps you should take as a result.  Relationships are hard, but he is faithful. He will guard your heart as you love others well.

I pray for you to soften my heart and keep me leaning towards forgiveness and loving well.