Grief is a harsh word meaning deep sorrow or distress especially caused by someone’s death. My wife (Pam) and I have been around grief the last several years in the loss of her father and my mom. The loss of a dear relationship produces hurt at the deepest levels of a person’s soul. Romans 12:15 challenges as God’s people to “weep with those who weep sharing others’ grief.” Just this past week, Pam held a dear neighbor in her lap who had just discovered that she had lost her young son in an accident 7300 miles away. Needless to say, she was heartbroken.
Do you know that we can grieve God? It may be difficult to believe but true. Paul the Apostle in Ephesians 4:30 straightforwardly declares, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” We are able to cause sorrow and deep sadness to our God. Think about what I just said. We are able to cause sorrow and deep sadness to our God.
To understand a verse, Bible scholars instruct us to start by looking at the immediate context of the verse meaning what are the verses around it. So, let’s start by looking at the prior verse, Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” It becomes clear that the way each of us talk to each other has a huge impact on the Holy Spirit of God. We grieve Him by our words.
- “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths.” How we talk to one another is an enormous deal to God. “Unwholesome talk” from His children grieves Him.
- Use words that are “only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.” God at the core wants His children speaking in ways that focuses on the edification of one another…”that it may benefit those who listen.”
Now, let’s look at the verses that immediately follow. Paul speaks very clearly in verse 31 what grieves the Holy Spirit and then in verse 32 what brings joy to Him.
- Ephesians 4:31 states, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice (ill intent toward others).” God is all about relationships; how we treat one another. We as His children hurt the Holy Spirit when we act with ill intent towards another.
- Ephesians 4:32 reveals what brings joy to Him, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Kindness, compassion and forgiveness are a healing ointment to our God and brings great delight to Him.
God is all about relationships especially our spouse and our children what we say and how we act towards each other. Do you want to bring joy and not grieve God? Now, you know how. Hey, it’s not easy. In fact, it may currently seem impossible, but God will walk with you and guide you every step of the way. Relationship builders are in the center of His heart bringing Him great joy!