Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.Ephesians 4:29-30
Jesus gets all the good press in the Bible, and rightly so. Jesus was involved in the creation of all things. All things were created for him. Yup, Jesus is definitely the center of attention. Again, as he should be. After all, he is the savior of the world. But as a practical matter, how does he get all this attention? It is brought to him by the Holy Spirit, that generally quiet, almost silent partner in the Trinity who is always pointing to Jesus.
I think it is appropriate to give the Holy Spirit his props. He is in many ways the workhorse of the Trinity. He participated in the creation along with the Father and the Son. He moved on the prophets to give them the words that pointed ultimately to Jesus. He anointed the Kings of Israel that enabled them to rule.
When it comes to life under the New Covenant, it is the Holy Spirit who is promised by Jesus as our helper, our comforter, the one who indwells us, the one who regenerates us, the one who sanctifies our lives, the one who empowers us to bear witness to the resurrection. He is our teacher and our guide and grants us his gifts that enable ministry to both the world and to our fellow believers.
What we also often fail to realize is that he is sensitive. He gently carries us along in his love which he pours out in our hearts.
I think we sometimes forget that he is in and with us at all times. He is the one who prompts us so often in ways I am sure we don’t even realize. The prompts to do certain things for others or to say certain things to encourage someone else. He is quietly going about his business of glorifying Jesus.
When we forget him, we sometimes offend him and cause him to grieve.
As a general rule, we grieve when we lose someone or something. The obvious cause of grief is the loss of a loved one. We also often grieve deeply at the loss of a family pet that has been with us for many years. To grieve is to experience deep sorrow. It is painful. When we sin in our communication, we are causing great sorrow to the Holy Spirit. He has temporarily lost the intimacy he has had with us and he grieves over that loss of intimate fellowship.
He is grieved by corrupt communication coming out of the mouths of we who are indwelt by him. It is very easy to do. I know. I found recently that I had grieved the Holy Spirit by some things I said. How do I know that he was grieved? Because I felt it. I too was grieved as soon as I realized that I had done it. I had hurt God’s feelings. That is painful to realize. I had to do some quick and honest communication with the people I was talking to at the time. It was time for confession of sin, repentance, asking for forgiveness.
When we have the triune God as the ultimate treasure and love of our life, it really hurts to realize we have offended him. I am normally quite careful about what I speak and write, especially what I write. I am very much aware that when I hit that publish button, my words are out there and may not be able to be retrieved, so I try to be very careful what I write. I want to be able to read it in ten years from now and not be embarrassed by what I wrote or wish I could retrieve it. I know that I will be even more careful with both what I speak and what I write from now on.
Please consider how you speak. Realize that you can offend the Holy Spirit if you speak corrupt communication. I am sure you don’t want to do that. Consider your word to your friends, your spouse, your children. Do those words build up? That is what we are called to, to build one another up.
I hope my painful experience of grieving the Holy Spirit will be an opportunity for you to avoid the same kind of pain and loss of sleep. I am God’s kid and was during the whole affair (it lasted less than 12 hours from commission to repentance, etc.). I hope my experience will help you avoid the same kind of pain. He is always right there ready to re-establish that joyful and sweet communion as soon as we confess our sin. He doesn’t beat us up, he just shares his grief with us so we know something of the pain he feels as well.