EPHESIANS 5:30: “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

OBSERVATION: How do we grieve the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is a person, not a force. You cannot grieve a force. Yet, so many times we view the Holy Spirit more as a power that has been given to us, than a relationship that we have entered into. We are all too familiar with grieving someone in a relationship. This usually happens when we do or say something that offends them, or is in stark contrast to what they believe or hold dear to their hearts.

The Holy Spirit is referred to as the “guarantee” or “seal” of our redemption. Jesus promised that when He ascended to the Father He would send the Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts continually. As we love and obey Jesus and His Word, Jesus promises that He and the Father will manifest themselves in us through the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that the words of Jesus find their fulfillment – “I will never leave you nor forsake you”, and, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of this age.” So in order to understand how a person may grieve the Holy Spirit we must first understand that He is a person and we are called to grow in relationship with Him.

The Holy Spirit has come to be be our Comforter, our Teacher, and our Guide. He does not coerce us, nor does He control us. The gentle Holy Spirit teaches us, calls us, leads us, and guides us. He speaks through a “still small voice”. It is the humble and quiet heart that hears the voice of the Holy Spirit. It is the heart that is being changed and transformed by Grace that hears His “still small voice”. This is why Paul calls us to avoid the very things that will grieve Him. What are they?

EPHESIANS 5:31: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”

Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, malice, these are the things that grieve the Holy Spirit. Why? Because they are words and actions that proceed out of a heart that is not surrendered to the Lord in humility, but is following its’ own sinful passions. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” When our mouths are speaking words of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice – it drowns out the whispers of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit will not get in a shouting match with an angry, bitter, and rebellious heart. James exhorts us to be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. Why? Because the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Paul does not leave us on this note. He exhorts us to the attitudes that will foster our relationship with the Holy Spirit.

EPHESIANS 5:32: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

This is the exact opposite of the wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice. Kindness, tenderheartedness, forgiveness, these are the qualities of a heart being transformed by the Holy Spirit. The heart that is growing in these qualities is also growing in its’ sensitivity and ability to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice. The heart that is filled with these qualities will not grieve, but will bless the Holy Spirit!

Lord, as David prayed, put a guard over my lips (heart) and keep me from presumptuous sins. Change my heart and change my words. Let me walk in your kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness today. Let Your love lead and guide me. May my actions and words deepen my relationship with the Holy Spirit and enable me to better hear His “still small voice”. In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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