Core Christian Value
When we speak with bitterness or anger and are unkind to one another, it grieves the Holy Spirit of God. Our sins grieve our parents, us and God. There is no upside in sinful behavior!
Any loving parent, when they observe their child being very ill behaved, is very disappointed. That disappointment may look like anger, but at its deeper roots, it is grief triggered by the child’s failure to do the right thing. If you can understand that fact, it is a small step to understand that when we, the children of God, are bitter and angry, it grieves our heavenly Father.
Listen to Paul’s admonition to us all: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” EPHESIANS 4:29-32 NKJV
The good news here is that we were “sealed for the day of redemption” even though we grieved the Holy Spirit but the Scriptures go on to say that our actions, after our redemption is sealed, count. Do you realize that your moment by moment thoughts and actions “count”?
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD to them: “Behold, I Myself will judge between the fat and the lean sheep. Because you have pushed with side and shoulder, butted all the weak ones with your horns, and scattered them abroad, therefore I will save My flock, and they shall no longer be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. EZEKIEL 34:20-23 NKJV
God Himself will judge between the sheep and the sheep, that is, He will judge between believers. The goats will have first been judged by Jesus and His angels (MATTHEW 35:31-33) and they, because they are classified as non-believers, are in big trouble. But the point here is that our actions “count”, once we are judged as believers, seeking to be obedient and loving towards God and our fellow man.
It seems that the “grief” God feels is directed towards believers who have disappointed Him. My guess is that we will all, to some degree, disappoint God because we are imperfect. Rather than “beat yourself up” over your mistakes, resolve to make fewer mistakes. There is an old hymn entitled, Trust and Obey. That is the simple truth. God will grieve less and less about you if you are striving to be like Jesus.
If God knows you as His child, do you realize that when you are being “bad” in some sense of the word, that you are grieving not only your parents but your God as well? How much incentive is it for you to “do the right thing”, if “doing the wrong thing” grieves God? Do you feel you “sin” in secret? What do you think it means when the Bible says, “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. JEREMIAH 17:10 NKJV