What's it cost to grieve the Holy Spirit?

Monday Musings for August 08, 2016

Good morning, Musers,

When you grieve the Holy Spirit (... hey... and you know you do!), does he take off?... and if he does, does he un-indwell you to do it? 

That's serious stuff! No wonder today's questioner wanted some clarification. But what I've found over the years is that people with this concern do not really "understand" salvation. Now, such people are very likely saved (as evidenced by worrying about such things) but technical knowledge of what salvation is and how it works can help a person stay sane.

Today's questioner may have Charismatic leanings, and Charismatics (as a category, not necessarily every individual) lean toward the errant position that believers can lose their salvation, seeing the Holy Spirit as somewhat "flighty." Now, at this point, I part from my great Christian mentor who emphasized that if you didn't understand salvation correctly then you probably have not been saved correctly (for me, this ties salvation to mental prowess too rigidly), but I do see where misunderstanding eternal security can cause unnecessary grief in a child of God... and why have extra grief! Besides, we should all continually pursue God's truth the best we can know it... and this presupposes God's patience towards progress and growth.

My job is to make hearty Christians — believers who can take a philosophical shot and keep on believing. And do you know what's particularly encouraging in this work? God is heartier than us all... as is his Spirit... as is his Son. So, since God (et al) hangs tough with us, we should be confident enough to hang tough with him — even as we watch the shots fly across our bows. 

Think about this: immaturity is expected of a young child. So when he acts immaturely, this is no crisis; this is a reasonable expectation for someone who is still growing... so we work with such a child to correct him rather than toss him out into the street. Why would God treat us any differently?

We are God's children, and we too are growing in grace. So a moment of immaturity on our part does not constitute child-abandonment on God's part. We are works in progress... and progress presupposes some inferior behavior as a baseline. Therefore, neither the Father... nor the Son... nor the Holy Spirit... kicks family to the curb. If you are God's child, you are God's child forever — and you can probably see how that should foster a robust walk in Christ.

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