Ephesians 4:30 says, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” This scripture is surrounded by admonitions by Paul on how we should and shouldn’t act as Christians and members of the body of Christ. Let’s look at the context of this scripture. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 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. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
By looking at the surrounding scriptures, we can see that Paul is telling the Christians of Ephesus how to behave. They were to build up their neighbors by being compassionate and forgiving. They were to get rid of their bitterness and rage, and they were not to fight or slander each other’s name. Paul explains when we act along lines of anger, bitterness, and other forms of malice, we “grieve” or distress God’s Holy Spirit. Instead of acting against the Holy Spirit, Paul encourages us to walk according to the Spirit. Galatians 5:25 says, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” How do we do that? Paul very nicely lists what the fruit of the Spirit is in Galatians 5:22,23. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” If we can keep all of these attributes at the forefront of our minds and try to live our lives in love, gentleness and self-control, then we will be living by the Spirit. Will we exhibit all of the fruits of the Spirit perfectly every day? No, we will not since we are imperfect, but the intentions of our heart should always be to act as Christlike as possible. With experience and prayer, we will get better each day and become more pleasing to our Father in heaven.