“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30
Have you ever had a bad roommate? What if you were stuck with them forever? Imagine endless years of dishes in the sink, laundry on the floor and unwanted guests. How long would you contend with their selfish existence before throwing them out? Do they have any idea what a strain they are on your life? Does anyone else exist in their universe? I would never treat someone like that.
In stark contrast, the best roommate on the planet is the Holy Spirit. When you confess that you can’t do this life alone and ask Jesus to forgive you of all your sins past, present and future, you receive a new best friend. Your life is sealed with the Holy Spirit of God. He takes up residency in your life and never leaves (John 14:16). When you die, he is your ticket into Heaven, and faithful Counselor of Truth until you get there. (2Cr 1:21-22)
The first time you meet, you know life will never be the same. You spend time with your new roommate and embrace the spiritual gifts (1 Cr 12), then life rolls on. The time-sensitive demands of life press in, and you revert back to old patterns. At first there may be remorse and reconciliation, but over time, taking time to consult with the “Counselor” fades. Before you know it, dirty towels are heaped over him, quenching the very source of light that rescued you from your former existence (1Th 5:19).
This is my story. I became the bad roommate and still wince at how I grieved the Spirit of my Holy God, over and over again. Why didn’t He leave me? I would have thrown me out.
Consider this Relationship Revelation: When I grieve the Holy Spirit, His grief is for me.
I thought that grieving the Holy Spirit meant that I hurt his feelings and He experienced pain and offense like I do. Instead, because He is One with our Heavenly Father, the Spirit’s remorse occurs when his children make poor choices and miss the great things he had in store (Heb 11:6). His pain is over what could have been.
When I realized that the very person I grieved the most, grieved not for His pain but for mine, I learned something about forgiveness. If I allow God to change my focus from my pain to the source of my offender’s pain, then I can forgive just like Christ forgave me. Remembering that “while we were still sinners Christ died for us” reminds me that I can forgive others even if they are unaware of their offenses (Rom 5:8).
Who has hurt you the most?
What could be hurting them?
Ask the faithful roommate in your heart to reveal offenses hidden there, and transfer your focus from the pain in your heart to the pain in theirs.
What healing words could you offer?