And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. -- Ephesians 4:30How many times have you read the above Scripture verse? If you are like me, you have either heard it or read it many times throughout the course of your life. But have you read it in the context of the passage in which it appears, Ephesians 4:25-32? If you will take a few minutes to do so, you may see for the very first time exactly what I saw when I read this passage the other day.
We have heard it said that "sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me." But in this passage of Scripture, which deals with the words we speak and the way in which we treat one another, we are cautioned not to grieve the Holy Spirit. For all the times I have read the verse above, I have never realized that it was written in the middle of Paul's passage regarding our verbal behavior.
How many times have I spoken harshly to a member of my family, said some backbiting remark about a fellow Christian, or complained about what I don't have instead of praising God for what I do have? Aren't we all guilty of these things? When I am at odds with someone I love, my heart grieves. Yet how many times have I grieved the Holy Spirit by speaking harshly to my own children or husband? Kind of makes you stop and think, doesn't it?
The next time you feel tempted or even justified to hurl a verbal grenade at another child of God, remember that not only do you risk the chance of saying something that will hurt the other person, but also the risk of grieving God himself.