The Holy Spirit within
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 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. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:29-32
Once the enemy is given the opportunity to take hold of our attitudes, it provides him a foothold that could lead to destructive behaviors. This is what the apostle Paul is urging believers to do from our text. He said several things we need to get rid of and one of those was bitterness. Bitterness is self-inflicting poison that was intended for someone else but because we allow sinful nature to cloud our minds, we end up taking the poison ourselves. It is the result of a harbored resentment towards someone because we do not want to forgive. You felt offended and the matter was not settled because of the lack of repentance on the part of the one who caused the offense. You could have responded by removing the seed of resentment by forgiving the offender instead you chose to let it linger and you review the hurt in your mind over and over and over again. When your reaction to someone’s offensive act towards you was to withdraw and you let your mind to plot out a plan of vengeance and ill will, you are letting the root of bitterness to slowly poison your own hearts and minds. You are not the only one getting pierced by the hurt if you let bitterness seethe into your heart. Others as well will be affected. “Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many” (Hebrews 12:15). Another thing that Paul dealt with was the issue of speaking to others words that build up and encourage. This command from God if consistently obeyed would remove reasons to harbor bitterness and will avoid majority of life’s struggles. Maturing believers would seek to help the younger ones by using words that will edify. Once we let ourselves overcome with anger this will result in our negative behavior and speech. Unwholesome words grieve the Holy Spirit living within us. Let us not forget that our lives lived under the leadership of His Spirit could be used by God to edify and build up others.
Noel De Guzman