Personal Devotions

What Grieves God?

May 18, 2020

What are the things that can grieve the Holy Spirit of God? To grieve means to distress or make sad or sorrowful. It saddens God when we take odds against Him and poison our lives and others.

Ephesians 4:30-31  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:

Interestingly, no sins of the outward flesh are listed in this passage. The sins that grieve Him are bitterness, anger, and evil speaking. These usually involve offenses that other people have done toward us. We are commanded to put them away. A student in the classroom with a cell phone is told to put them away. Similarly we are instructed to put these things away from us. They harm not only the other person, but they harm us as well. Medical professionals understand these emotions are harmful to physical health. We were wired for peace. When these negative emotions are allowed, we won’t function well.

Bitterness usually results from our being offended at someone. We are hurt or disappointed . The reality is that unforgiveness hurts us and not the other person. When we realize its high cost, we can refuse to become bitter. It can be an attitude or a thought. (“Who do they think they are?”) Here’s the place where I can decide to forgive and forget what was done. Then the following progression never takes place.

Wrath is defined as passion as if breathing hard or being indignant. (“I can’t believe they said that!”)

Clamor and Evil speaking refer to speech that is vile. It could be swearing or it could be gossip (retelling the offense to someone else)

Malice refers to wicked behavior or naughty or bad actions. (I’ll just never speak to them again…..”)

It seems to me there is a progression here. Bitterness deals with thoughts and attitudes. Clamor and evil speaking progress into speaking about offenses. Malice refers to behavior that might be an attempt to get even.

I remember a mentor of mine who gave me a great parenting tip. She said correct the attitude before it becomes voiced and acted upon. Too many times we allow unforgiveness to seed into our thoughts and then our words and actions. But we do have the God-given grace to stop bitterness before it becomes a larger problem. Bitterness is contagious to us and to others.

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