And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30, NLT).
The sins which bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit are hurtful words: lying; foul, abusive, and angry speech; bitterness and rage; and harsh words and slander. The warning against stealing (v.28) may be the theft we commit when we steal another’s good image or reputation by what we say. These are not just bad habits; Paul labels them “evil behavior.” Only by living a life of love following Christ’s example do we rid ourselves of these sins which damage us and other believers.
My desire to “vent” my feelings is a destructive, evil habit. Every person with whom I interact is someone Christ loves and for whom he died. When I complain, I am forgetting that I, too, have been forgiven at great cost (v.32). I need to replace my harsh words with kind, helpful words of encouragement (v.29). Then I will be living up to being a dear child of God (v.5:1).
Father, forgive me for bringing sorrow to your Holy Spirit through angry, thoughtless speech. Bring healing to those I have wounded by my words. Fill me with love so that I may speak kind, encouraging words which honor you and those you love. Thank you, Father, for making me your forgiven child by the death of your Son, in whose name we pray, Amen.