Ephesians 5:30 How can someone grieve the Holy Spirit?The warning in this verse is directed at those who have believed, been baptized and received the Holy Spirit. God is aware of and watching the actions and thoughts of all humanity. However, at this stage in human history He has special care and concern for those He has called to receive His great gift of eternal life. So, this is a warning for disciples of Christ. To grieve means to cause sorrow, distress, emotional pain.The one causing the sorrow distress and emotional pain is you or me.The sorrow, distress, and emotional pain is felt by the Holy Spirit of God which is Christ living in you.The scriptures speak of the Holy Spirit as being grieved because the resurrected Jesus Christ is alive, active, and present within you through the power of the Spirit. We prefer to speak of Christ’s presence within us as our advocate and helper. However, His presence in us also makes him witness to everything we say and think… and so He is also our perfect, righteous judge.1 Corinthians 4:3-5 Jesus’ judgment will be a total 360 evaluation of your life. Note: this is the judgment that will establish the reward [praise] given to those who are marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit and are raised from the dead at His return [the day of redemption], see 1 Corinthians 3:12-16.2 Corinthians 5:9-10 we can live a life that is pleasing to Him… or we can live one that grieves Him.Does God Really Feel Grief?God is all powerful. From our human perspective we can assume that means nothing we humans do, say, or think will affect Him. But I propose that’s really just us projecting our own way of thinking on God, rather than accepting Him as He has chosen to present Himself to us. Let me explain:Fear, rejection, longing, sorrow... we don’t like these feelings. What causes them is usually something outside our control… very often caused by other people… and we don’t like that either.If I were all powerful I’d set things up so bad stuff could never affect me… I wouldn’t want any negative emotions. So, it only makes sense that an all powerful being would set things up so He/She/It could not be affected by anything. Either by:controlling all things [denying freedom of thought and action]shutting out emotions [goal of eastern religion and most human philosophy]- the idea of God as a Universal Intelligence or MindBoth of these are dead end solutions that leave humanity with a bleak vision of life and reality. Gladly God has a different way of seeing things.Isaiah 55:8-13Genesis 6:5-8 One of the many things Jesus did during His life in the flesh was to show us the Father. In other words to show us what God is like. Jesus showed emotions… indignation, wrath, sorrow.What Causes God Grief, Sorrow, and Emotional Pain?God saw the evil doings of the people on earth and He also saw or knew “that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts were only evil all the time”. God can be grieved by what we do and I believe especially what we think, or what is going on in our hearts. Lets go back to the immediate context of Ephesians 4:30 for insight on how someone might grieve the Holy Spirit.Ephesians 4:29 the words we speak. It is amazing to me how much emphasis God’s word, Jesus Christ, the Apostles, the Psalms, the Proverbs and the Prophets place on the words we speak. Perhaps because they provide the clearest window into our heart. Matthew 12:33-37 [Proverbs 4:23-24]We might say “she doesn’t really think that, she’s just venting… in her heart I know she feels differently’’, or,” he didn’t mean to say that… he was just joking around”. But for the person who hears them, and especially for the person who says them they may be an indication of what’s really going on in there. Ephesians 4:29 doesn’t really give us examples of corrupt communication or “rotten talk”. But we can figure it out by looking at the “not that, but this” formula. We are advised to stick to talk that builds up, helps, and benefits others. We can logically assume that corrupt communication is talk that tears people down, hurts them, and is contrary to their best interests.Ephesians 3:31 Types of Rotten TalkThe verse immediately following our warning about grieving the Holy Spirit tells us to get rid of bitterness, passionate wrath, anger, fighting and slander. Lets consider all of these in the context of corrupt communication or “rotten talk”… and as matters of the heart.Bitterness– means pointed, sharp, cutting. When used literally it means a harsh, unpleasant taste or smell. But scripture uses it to describe spiritual matters as well.James 3:11-14 extreme and negative jealousy or envyColossians 3:19 harshness, mean cruel [opposite of gentle]Passionate Wrath– thumos meaning a sudden outburst of inward indignationSlow Burning Anger– orge a more thought out and lasting feelingFighting– literally “crying out”… for example in controversy or arguingSlander– here we are looking at the actual content of what is said. Saying hurtful things about a person [literally blaspheme]Consider the first point “bitterness”. For the most part you can’t tell if a person was bitterly envious unless it shows its ugly head through what is said. You might not even realize its lurking within yourself unless you make the effort to listen to yourself. The same holds true for the other points. Watching your words is a tool God gives you to look into your heart. If the Holy Spirit is in you.. meaning the living Christ is in you working to bring about the creation of a new spiritual being equipped with the mind and character of God… and if these things grieve the Spirit. Then Christ Through the power of the Spirit is going to urge you to correct the problem. Get his stuff out. But you have to listen and follow the prompting of the Spirit. Romans 8:5-10The antidote to the bitterness, wrath, anger, contention, and slander that grieve the Holy Spirit of God is to imitate God… which we mostly accomplish be imitating Christ. That means you have to know how Christ spoke and interacted with others [read the gospel accounts]. Once you know the pattern of His life then do likewise until it becomes a habit, and from there a new way of thinking.Digging DeeperExamining our words is a tool we can use to see into the heart, but just saying the right things is not the end goal. It is possible for you to say only nice things to people, to be polite, and never express anger at someone but still have it in for them and work toward exacting your revenge. This too grieves the Holy Spirit of God that is in you.Ephesians 4:25-28God does not like deception – A person who says the right thing but does the wrong is not pleasing to Him, if grieves Him. God hates lying lips and a flattering tongue. What’s the solution? If you have been able to exert the required mental focus to regulate you patterns of speech to reflect Godly values… why not go to the next level and put that same mental discipline towards changing your thoughts and actions?God does not like unresolved disputes– holding grudges, maintaining feuds. You may be able to choke down what you really want to say… and that’s good… [unless you are just waiting for the right opportunity for some payback]. But to please God rather than to grieve Him go to the next level and be forgiving.That’s how we deal with anger… the slow burning kind [orge] and the rash impulsive kind.Translation of verse 26: don’t let your [orge: slow burning anger] draw you into sin [revenge?], don’t let the sun go down on your [thumos: rash outbursts of indignation]… IE don’t let a temper flare up fester and turn into a grudge or feud.You Father and Creator likes reconciliation, He likes issues to be resolved. Unresolved grudges and feuds can lead to violence, or other acts of revenge. These grieve the Holy Spirit of God within you.His constant exhortation is to forgive one another… as Christ has forgiven you. God Does Not Like Greed or Laziness– consider that Paul is writing this to a church congregation. Do you think they were swiping one another’s wallets during services or pocketing silverware when visiting one another? Or, is he talking about people who are always taking from others… and exhorting them to get a job so they too can help others in need?Greed = wanting things which are not legitimately yours to have. We tend to think of greed as a sin of the rich. But isn’t someone who wants fruits of another person’s labor without being willing to work greedy as well?God’s word from end to end exhorts generosity. Helping others in their time of need is part of the mind of Christ. But God’s purpose is not to enable people who refuse to work. God’s purpose is that you and I help others to get others back on their own two feet.God helps you and blesses you. But you don’t wake up each morning to find all your chores done… floors vacuumed, dishes washed, bills paid.God’s blessings usually comes in a form that provides you the opportunity to earn your own way. Greediness grieves the Holy Spirit of God within you. Digging Even DeeperEphesians 4:1-4 this section is very similar to Romans 1:18-32 which adds that even though the things of God are self evident in the very creation we are all a part of… most of humanity willfully chooses to reject them and go their way. They do not hold God values in high esteem and in both cases the result is sexual immorality.We are not talking about a momentary lapse or slip-up.We are talking about a heart that becomes hardened… who through constant practice and human reasoning become convinced that their bad behavior is actually good behavior. Abortion, divorce, sexual abuse, and all relationships outside of marriage. These grieve the Holy Spirit of God within you. Ephesians 5:1-11Why Does God Grieve?I have a son and daughters. I have a natural desire to see my children accomplish certain goals: establish a line of work they can do well in, start their own families, even that they aspire to the resurrection of the first fruits at Christ’s return.If I see them making bad choices, heading down the wrong path, I am grieved.God looks upon you the same way. He grieves when He sees any of His beautiful created children heading down a path that leads away from eternal life and the everlasting joy He wants to shore with them.