Ephesians 4:30 – 31 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
Have you ever had a wounded spirit? Everyone has, at one time or another, felt hurt or betrayed by another person’s words. These kinds of wounds go much deeper than physical wounds. And most of the time, they take much longer to heal.
I have experienced several types of grief in my life. I have attended funerals of people I loved dearly, people who were much too young to die, or who I wasn’t ready to let go of. I have moved several times, and have experienced the grief that comes with such a move, with leaving friends and familiar places behind. But there is one kind of grief I’ve experienced which was worse than all the others.
It is the grief that comes with malicious, mean betrayal. Now, I don’t need to go into the details of the betrayal I speak of – many of you reading this have had your own experiences in this area. But the grief we feel when people we love and who are supposed to love us, fail to show that love . . . when instead, they gossip and slander and act out of bitterness and anger and malice . . .
For me, it meant nearly two years of sitting on the couch, crying all the time, gaining twenty pounds, not knowing if I would ever be able to breathe again without it hurting . . .
That, my friends, is a grieving spirit.
That is what we can do with our words.
And that is exactly what grieves the Spirit of God, too. Remember what verse 29 said: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up.” Then, Paul tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God. He says to get rid of “all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
At that point, I had a choice to make. I could hang onto the anger and rage and malice and bitterness that was handed to me. Or, I could get rid of it. To be perfectly honest, the betrayal I experienced still hurts, and it is hard to even write about it here. But I have chosen to get rid of it, and God is helping me to do that. If I had chosen to keep it, I would have surely, eventually, spewed it all over someone else.
Friends, God wants us to get rid of the bitterness, the rage, the anger, the slander and gossip that causes so much grief to Him and to others. That’s easier said than done, when others have hurt us deeply. But God will help us.
God will help us.
Dear Father, Please help me to get rid of any bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Help me to be a reflection of Your love.