Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Anger and Love

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30

After reading the wisdom of Charles Spurgeon on the matter of this verse, I took note that the verse does not say, "Do not make angry the Holy Spirit."  For many people, their hearts are just hard enough that the anger of someone towards them would not cause much pain. But for one to know their actions grieved another could move even the hardest of hearts. Spurgeon says, "...grief is a sweet combination of anger and love. It is anger, but all the gall is taken from it. Love sweetens the anger, and turns the edge of it, not against the person, but against the offense."

An offense commited against a friend of little patience may cause them to snap and be angry with me. But the same offense observed by a loving father would cause him grief. Spurgeon explains it this way: "...there is anger in his bosom, but he is angry and sins not; and yet there is love to neutralize and modify the anger towards me. Instead of wishing me ill as the punishment of my sin, he looks upon my sin itself as being the ill. He grieves to think that I am already injured, from the fact that I have sinned."

It seems the more you love someone, the more likely their offenses will cause you grief vs. anger. As a parent, I can attest. When my children sin my heart is much more grieved than angered. In the case of this verse, God's Word says that my sin would cause the Holy Spirit within me, who loves me beyond measure, to be grieved instead of angry. I too should be grieved - my heart distressed - if I thought I had hurt another, especially the Holy Spirit. All the more reason to guard my attitude, my heart, my thoughts, my mind; to guard what my eyes and ears take in, and what comes out of my mouth. The Holy Spirit is exposed to everything I take in or take part in. As Paul was writing the book of Ephesians the Spirit directed him to give warning not to grieve the Holy Spirit with whom I, as a believer in Christ, am sealed with for redemption day. A warning I strive to heed.

Lord Jesus, I ask You to strengthen me and guard my steps as I seek to protect myself from things that would grieve the Spirit in me. Help me to live each day for Your glory and to love others well. In Jesus' name, amen.

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