By Patrick Hawthorne
Have you ever thought a hateful prayer thought? You know, the ole, “God, I’m gonna kill em’ so You can raise them back to life,” prayer? Oh, don’t look at me so holy. If you are human you’ve probably prayed something like that before. Heck, you might have even spoken it out loud.
Yes, we all know it was just spouted off in a moment of frustration and that you did not really mean it. Well, hopefully you didn’t mean it. Yet, do you know what you were doing? You were digging up them old dry bones of your former self.
Randy Travis has a song I still love to sing. “Digging up bones, I’m digging up bones. Exhuming things that’s better left alone.” While Randy might be singing about the memories of a love that’s dead and gone, I’m singing about a dead man, a dead man of my former self, who should be dead and long gone. I’m singing about a man that I occasionally try to exhume for brief periods of time to satisfy my desire for self-justice.
This past Saturday, I sat down and read the book of Ephesians. I was not reading for study, but just reading for edification. As I read Ephesians 4:30, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…,” my spirit leapt within me. I knew that I was to stop and take a closer look at this.
Do you know what grieves the Holy Spirit? It is simply digging up that old man. It is allowing corrupt communication to salt and pepper our speech (verse 29) and allowing bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and EVIL SPEAKING to spew forth from “Ye ole pie hole,” (verse 31). Remember, Paul was writing to the Church and not the world.
Yes, grieving the Holy Spirit primarily deals with the garbage we, the born again Body of Jesus, tend to vomit when things do not go exactly our way. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? (James 3:11). Can we praise God out of one side of our mouth and curse man out of the other? We all know the answer to these questions.
Please join me in laying the old man to rest one final time. It won’t be easy, but it is something we must do if we wish to walk pleasing unto the Lord. “Lord, please help me to break my old bone digging up shovel.” Be blessed.