Monday, March 25, 2013

Words Can Build You Up, Words Can Tear You down...

            I met some sisters for coffee last evening, and we talked and encouraged one another, laughed and had a good time reconnecting. One of my sisters in the Lord made the statement that God can be disappointed in us. We quickly disagreed with her, and explained that God cannot be disappointed in us or our decisions because He already knew we were going to do it, He already knew we were going to speak what we spoke. But, as I was pondering on this statement, I was reminded of a scripture passage in Ephesians. Paul was writing to the church in Ephesus explaining to them that they needed to put away the old man, to put on the new man, the new creation we are in Christ Jesus, and then he tells them,
                “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30.
                As I read these words, I saw a picture of God, sighing. He took a deep breath and sighed. I do believe that God is never disappointed in us, nor is He ever surprised by anything we do or say. But, I do believe that we can grieve the Holy Spirit, we can grieve God. I do believe that what we say sometimes to other believers causes God to sigh. How, you ask?
                The Holy Spirit lives on the inside of every person that believes in Jesus Christ. We are no longer our own, we have been bought with a price. When we are fellowshipping with one another, sitting beside one another in church, interacting with other believers, we are unified together in the body of Christ. Paul states earlier in Chapter 4 of Ephesians that we are all one body, one spirit in Christ, there are no divisions. Yet, I have found that we Christians can be some pretty harsh people. We put down other churches, we believe our church is the only church, and we allow our pride to be lifted up when we are communicating with other believers. This grieves the Holy Spirit.
                The word “grieve” means to cause pain, to distress and to make sorrowful. He is not sorry that we are His, but He is sorry for the things we say and do to one another. When my children were little they used to argue all the time, this caused me pain and sorrow. This distressed me, because I wanted them to see the love that they had for one another, I wanted them to work out what was troubling them without fighting. The same goes for our Father in heaven. He does not want our pride to stand in the way of our relationships with other believers. He does not want us to fight and argue with one another, He desires for one of us to be humble enough to love the other brother or sister who has hurt us.
                But how can we hurt one another, how can we grieve the Holy Spirit? By our words to each other, by the things we say. Paul tells us in verse 29 to not let “corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification that it may impart grace to the hearer.” (Eph. 4:29) When we say things or do things to hurt other believers, we grieve the Holy Spirit of God living on the inside of them, and us. The word “corrupt” is defined as rotten fruit unfit for use. Our words are just as important as our actions. Sometimes, our actions speak louder than our words.
                We can hurt other believers just by speaking things to them that are not edifying. Our words can cause a believer to question their faith, their walks with Jesus Christ. Our words can tear down, or they can build up. Our words are a powerful tool, or they can be a weapon of mass destruction. When we judge or tear down another believer because of something they did or said, we grieve the Holy Spirit. When we communicate and fellowship with one another, we are communicating and fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit. But we too often choose to judge, condemn and look down on those weaker in the faith instead of choosing to lift them up and encourage them, we allow our words to tear them down, instead of lift them up. In this, we grieve the Holy Spirit. God sighs when we fight and argue with our brothers and sisters, when we allow our pride to stand in the way of making that relationship right again. Too many times church bodies split because of something someone said. Too many times people leave the “church” because of something someone did or said to them. This grieves the Holy Spirit of God who lives and moves on the inside of each and every believer.
                What we say is just as important as what we do. We can tear down or we can build up. We can choose to gossip or we can choose to put a lid on it. We can choose to build or we can choose to destroy. The power is in our hands, in our mouths. The Holy Spirit grieves over fighting among believers, He sighs at our lack of love for one another. He desires peace and unity. We need to realize, and begin to walk in the knowledge that when we speak to other believers, we are not just speaking to them, we are speaking to the Holy Spirit, who lives on the inside of them.
                When we gossip about other believers, this grieves the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us, because He lives also in the one you are gossiping about. When we speak unkind and rotten things to other believers, we are speaking those things to the Holy Spirit, and He is sorry for them, and for the things you have just said. We need to stop talking negative about one another and seek to see the good, lifting that up and praising God for the work that He is doing in each one’s lives. The Holy Spirit lives in each one of us, and when we hurt or harm with our words and deeds, God sighs and He is grieved. Let us not grieve the Holy Spirit, but let us begin to see Him in each of us and build them up through Him. In Jesus Name, Amen. 
This song goes along with my blog today, please go and listen to it, and let us no longer grieve the Holy Spirit.