“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30
Knowing what offends the Holy Spirit is one of the most important things for believers to understand; yet it’s often ignored. Rather than thinking about how to please God, we tend to focus on how God can please us. We actually hurt ourselves by grieving our God-given Helper. So what offends the Holy Spirit?
We hear a lot these days about words that easily offend. But what about words that offend God? In this passage alone, we’re told that our words should be truthful (4:25), wholesome, edifying, and gracious (4:29). There should be no hint of bitterness, anger, clamor, slander, or malice in what a believer says (4:31). Paul adds, “and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting” (5:4).
We also need to consider the words we choose to hear. “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for…the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them” (5:6-7). When we choose the wrong companions, we’re partaking with them. Hanging out with someone is, by default, an endorsement of their lifestyle. The same is true regarding the entertainment we choose.
Words carry great weight because they reveal the condition of the heart (Luke 6:45). That means wrong attitudes also grieve the Holy Spirit. If it seems like the Holy Spirit is easily offended, you’re right! That’s because He’s so sensitive to sin. Our sensitivity to sin is reduced when we choose to flood our minds with things that offend a holy God—the very things for which Jesus died.
Examine the words you use and the words you choose to hear. Do they reveal wrong attitudes, friends, or entertainment? You can measure your spiritual health by how long it takes you to repent. Keep in mind, there’s a cost to not correcting it. First, you’ll be miserable. A believer cannot peacefully live in rebellion to God. Grieving the Holy Spirit also weakens your sense of direction, as well as your discernment and defense.
Is living a godly life your goal? Then surround yourself with godly people who share the same goal. Determine to protect your mind from things that grieve the heart of God. If you’re not rightly connected to the One who guides and guards you, don’t ignore it. Confess it and correct it today!