I have a Bible app on my phone. With three different versions installed, it has become my main Bible for everyday reading and also for quick reference. Somehow, though, Ephesians 4:30 has become the default opening verse. No matter where I read last, when I reopen, it goes back to, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” I know the verse well. I have even taught that we need to recognize that, as Christians, it is clearly possible for us to grieve the Holy Spirit. Yet as my phone Bible keeps taking me back to that verse, I am struck by the surrounding context.
The verses immediately before and after this verse each talk about our interactions with others. Ephesians 4:29 speaks of building others up—not tearing them down—with our words. Verse 31 instructs us to rid ourselves of things like bitterness, wrath and slander. Both of these scriptures are about how we treat one another.
In context, then, the command to not grieve the Holy Spirit is about our interactions with one another.
So here’s the question: Are your interactions with others grieving the Holy Spirit?