…are you the cause?

I was reading Ephesians and it said, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God’s own, secured) for the day of redemption.” Eph. 4:30.

Preceding that verse there is a list of things that are quite offensive to the Holy Spirit: foul or polluting language, evil words, unwholesome or worthless talk. In fact, it states that our conversation be “only such speech as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.” Eph.4:29

Lately, I feel I have failed miserably in being “beneficial to the spiritual progress of others”.  As I consider these passages, I am reminded of my negative outlook on the world around me:   The websites.  The politics.  The financial crisis in America.  The venom spewed from every venue from emails to blogs.  From radio to television.   I am reminded of thoughts that have filled my mind and permeated my reasoning.  I think of all that has replaced my normal closeness and intimacy with my Lord.  I find myself thinking how much more I need my Lord to help me rise above the negativity in this season of life.  And I am so grateful His grace is sufficient to meet me where I am and take me forward to a more effectual writer for His glory.  But for me, that means an active participation in the course I’ve been on.  It means changing directions.  It means eliminating some things.  It means that the spell check is not nearly as important as the spiritual check in the content of my words.  It means investing myself with greater diligence to God’s Word than ever before.  It means yielding to the Holy Spirit with an immediate response of obedience.

Following verse 30 is a group of things which gives us a clear idea of what grieves Him. “Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander be banished from you, with all malice, (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).” Eph. 4:31.

“Indignation.”  Felt that lately?  “Wrath.”  Been tempted?  “Spite, ill will.”  My, oh my, can you see what I’m talking about here?

Do you think recent posts you have read were a blessing to others? Have your comments been “beneficial to the spiritual progress of others” who may have been lurking behind a monitor, reading the comments?  Have any bitter thoughts lingered in your mind?  Have the people around you in the supermarket, restaurant benefited from your presence?

“…become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving of another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.” Eph. 4:32

When God grieves, His body grieves–and we are His body.  How can Believers who are sealed by the Spirit until the day of redemption continue to participate in blogs and daily interactions and avoid grieving the Holy Spirit as they converse?  Any ideas? selahV

[© SelahV Today, Hariette Petersen, 2008]