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5 Things that Grieve the Holy Spirit

You may not have thought of this but did you know that we can grieve the Holy Spirit? What does that mean and how do we do that? Is there a difference between quenching the Spirit of God and grieving Him? If you don’t know the answers, then let’s study the Word together to see what it tells us so we don’t grieve the Spirit of God.

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Understanding The Terms

There are two Scripture verses with these specific words in them. Let’s look at them first before we go further.

Ephesians 4:30 says And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 says Quench not the Spirit.

Are these verses talking about the same thing? Let’s look at the meaning of “grieve” and “quench” from Vine’s Expository Dictionary.

Quench = 4570 (Strong’s) is used metaphorically as of “quenching” the Spirit, by hindering His operations in oral testimony in the church gatherings of believers, (1 Thess 5:19).

Grieve = 3076 (Strong’s) is used in the active voice as of grieving the Holy Spirit of God (as indwelling the believer); (Eph 4:30).

So what does this mean?

Quench means to put out or stop the move of the Spirit when believers are gathered together.

Grieve means present tense when believers cause pain, grief or distress to the Holy Spirit because of our actions.

“Quenching” is what you do to the Spirit of the Living God while “grieving” is how He responds to your actions.

With these meanings in mind, let’s look at the verses again for context.

Paul’s Teaching

Read Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 4:1-32 (click the link to read the whole chapter). He is teaching us what we should be doing.

  • We are to put away the old conversation, the old man
    • We are to put away the lying, stealing, and all things pertaining to the old life and
  • be renewed in our minds (Eph 4: 1, 22-23).
    • and do the right thing of being kind to one another and tenderhearted and forgiving each other.

When we put away the old nature and take on the new nature, the opposite of grief is happening. The Spirit is joyful with us. When we do the deeds of the flesh (sin), we distress and grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

In the Thessalonian passage (1 Thess 5:19), Paul is teaching the believers about the coming of the Lord and to stay alert in the light. He is reminding them to

  • stay in unity and be kind to one another.
  • Rejoice, pray, give thanks and don’t quench the Spirit by despising prophesying.
  • Prove or test all things and abstain from the appearance of evil.

Doing these things will be pleasing to the Holy Spirit. Not doing them will be like extinguishing the fire of the Spirit in our lives. Not doing them would quench the Spirit.

So, now we know the text verses so let’s see how we grieve or quench the Spirit today.

5 Things that Grieve the Spirit of God

1 — Disobey the Holy Spirit

When we put on the armour of God and take up our shield, we are extinguishing the fiery darts of the enemy.

In the same way, because the Spirit of God dwells within us, when we ignore His leading or disobey Him, or when we put down our shield of faith, we are extinguishing the Holy Spirit’s fire in us. We quench the Spirit by ignoring Him.

When we pick and choose what we want to obey in the Word of God, we quench the Spirit which grieves Him.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Timothy 3:16.

We don’t get to choose what we will obey and what we will ignore. Complete obedience is doing the will of the Father, therefore, there is no compromise.

Related Posts: How Holy Spirit Improves Your Life and 1 Simple Truth About Holiness That Will Challenge You.

2 — Deny the Holy Spirit

Do not shun the work of the Holy Spirit within our lives. Jesus sent Holy Spirit to be our Comforter, our Healer, our Teacher, our everything. Holy Spirit is the power in our lives and we need Him.

He knows what we need and can and will supply that. When we think we do not need Him, that we have other avenues for the solution, then we are rejecting the work of the Spirit which is quenching Him and that’s when we grieve the Spirit of God.

John wrote in his epistle, 1 John 2:20, 27 that we have an unction from the Holy One and ye know all things; but the anointing ye have received of him abideth in you and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

Another way we deny the Spirit is when we shut down the moving of the Holy Spirit in our fellowship gatherings.

When the Spirit is ready to move in our midst, our self-made agenda causes us to be insensitive to His leading and we miss out on what He wants to do among us.

  • He may have wanted to give a message through the gifts of the Spirit but instead, we used a water hose to quench the Spirit.
  • He may have wanted us to praise and worship in the Spirit but instead, we rushed on to the next item on the agenda and thus we quench the Spirit.
  • There are a number of ways He wants to express Himself but instead, we put out His fire when we don’t allow Him to move in our midst.

So, by denying the power and move of Holy Spirit, we quench the Spirit resulting in our actions grieving Him.

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3 — Do Not Apply the Word of Truth in Your Life

James wrote to the saints that we should be doers of the word and not hearers only (James 1:22.) This means that we apply what we learn from the Word of God so that we are fulfilling what it teaches.

We should be seeking diligently how we ought to live in holiness and righteousness.

Related Post: Discover the 7 Steps for You to “Be Holy as I am Holy”

Both Paul and John teach how we should walk in the light as He is in the light. This means we are to be doers of the Word. It is when we stop applying the truth to our lives that we quench the Spirit and thereby we grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

Related Post: What Happens When You are Walking in Truth?

4 — Do Not Desire God’s Will

God has a plan for your life and mine. His will is that we follow the truths in His Word and live them out. I read this verse today, Psalm 31:1 In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.

Related Post: Top 10 Bible Verses About Destiny

We need to trust in Him and when we think we can do life on our own, we are denying His will for us and we grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

Related Post: Top 21 Bible Verses for Trusting God in Difficult Times

When we focus only on ourselves, we grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

When we have an attitude of “me, me, me” or when we have an attitude of not caring about others or when we develop apathy towards the things of God, we both quench and grieve the Holy Spirit.

God wants us to think of others. We are members of the body of Christ and when we ignore our Christian family, we are not living out His will for us.

Related Post: The Role of Holy Spirit in the Church

5 — Do Not Rely on Holy Spirit

God gave us His Spirit to enable us, to be our strength, to give us power in the name of Jesus.

When we rely on our own strength to work out the solutions we need, we are not relying on the Spirit of God. Holy Spirit is our source of power but when we ignore His power, we quench Him and grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

Jesus said in Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

We cannot share the gospel or witness our testimony to others without His power, without the Holy Spirit. We cannot do this in our strength.

Related Post: How to Share the Gospel in a Practical Way Without Being Pushy

There isn’t anything we can do for the Lord in our own strength. We need to rely on the Spirit of God. The Spirit enables us to do all things through Him. When we rely on ourselves, we quench Him and we grieve the Holy Spirit.

Related Post: Do Not Grieve the Holy Spirit by Tim Challies. Also, this post by Compelling Truth called How Does A Person Grieve or Quench The Holy Spirit would also be helpful.

The Unforgivable Sin

Let’s remember not to get grieving the Spirit confused with the unforgivable sin that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 12.

Turn with me to Matthew 12:22-32 as we take a quick peek at what Jesus said to the Pharisees. Jesus had just healed a man who was blind and dumb and possessed with a devil.

The Pharisees immediately rationalized that Jesus cast out the devil by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of devils.

As usual, Jesus stayed calm as He corrected them. He poked holes at their theology with His questions, Matthew 12:26-27:

  • How would satan’s kingdom stand if satan cast himself out?
  • If I am casting out devils by Beelzebub (as you say I am), by whom do your followers cast them out?

Look down to Matthew 12:31-32 where we read what the unforgivable sin is.

In Jesus’ own words, all manner of sin and blasphemy is forgivable except for one thing and that is crediting the works and power of Holy Spirit to the works and power of satan. Jesus calls that blasphemy against Holy Spirit.

Giving credit to satan for the works and miracles of Holy Spirit is the unforgivable sin.

Would this grieve the Holy Spirit if someone did this? Yes, absolutely. He knows the consequence of someone who commits the unforgivable sin. The person who commits that sin would never be forgiven.

Can a born again Spirit-filled Christian commit that sin?

It would be impossible. Why do I say that? Because if you are filled with the Spirit of the Living God, why in the world would you consider committing a heinous sin?

It isn’t conceivable that a Christian would grieve the Holy Spirit like that to say that the miracles and works of God were done by satan and his evil power. Only someone who was faking their Christianity or someone who has outrightly rejected God would be able to say such things.

Related Posts: If you would like to read more about this, this post, What is the Unforgivable Sin would be a great help to you. As well, this post, Will God Forgive the Sin of Suicide would also be helpful.

That’s a Wrap

There are other ways that we can grieve the Spirit of God.  Basically, anything we do that excludes the Trinity is grieving the Holy Spirit.

When we sin, we do both:

  • we quench the Spirit and
  • we grieve the Holy Spirit.

Grieving the Spirit is also done collectively as a group which, individually, we have no control over. However, if you take a stand for the correct Biblical application, then you do have control over the group’s outcome. So, if you see the group doing or saying something that grieves Holy Spirit, speak up!

We also grieve Him as individuals. I know you don’t want to grieve Him. Your heart breaks at the thought of that, just as mine does.

In order not to grieve Him, let’s choose to be doers of the word and not hearers only. By applying what we learn from the Word to our lives, we will please God. And when we please God, we won’t grieve the Holy Spirit.

When the Spirit is moving in you, let Him move. Maybe you’re praying for someone and you sense in your spirit to pray in a certain direction, then do it. Be sensitive and obedient to the still, small voice of God.

Read your Bible, study the Word, commune with God daily, be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2) and walk the talk. Live out what you are learning from the Word.

Let your life be in one accord with the Spirit and put a smile on His face.

Penny for your thoughts? I’d love to hear what you think about this topic. Please leave a comment for me.

If this has been a blessing to you, please pin it on Pinterest! Thank you for helping me get the Word out! Unfortunately, sharing it to FB results in a message that my website link is spam. FB has blocked my site!

5 Things that Grieve the Holy Spirit 1

82 thoughts on “5 Things that Grieve the Holy Spirit

  1. Gail

    Thank You for this teaching, I believe I will go back to this a lot. For I most certainly do not want to grieve the Holy Spirit.

    • Cindy

      Thanks for stopping by today, Glenda. I’m glad this post helped you understand what grieves the Holy Spirit.
      Have a blessed day!

      • Loretts

        I thank God for the teaching of grieving Holy Spirit, my desire is to live in total obedience, and the leading of Holy Spirit

      • Hello, Loretts, God sees your heart and knows your desire to serve Him fully. Praise God for Holy Spirit as our Teacher and Counselor, who never leaves us!

    • Thank you, Michele. And we learn how vital Holy Spirit is in the Trinity. He is the third Person but not a third wheel. He is vital to the believer’s life. Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have a blessed day in the Lord.

  2. Pastor Mike Farran

    Hi! I am a Pastor in Kansas, great study. do have in PDF form to use as a pass out? Or may I copy and Paste?

    • Hello, Pastor Mike, thank you for reading this post and inquiring about it. I will send you a PDF file later today to the email address you provided. Blessings, Cindy

      • Cindy

        Hello, Auriel. Yes, I’ll send you this PDF file right away. Thanks for reading this and I’m glad this post about the things that grieve the Holy Spirit was helpful to you!

  3. Gabryel Bell

    Cindy this article was a true blessing to read and receive. I pray that God continually work through you to shed light on such important yet overlooked topics of our walk with God through the Holy Spirit. It begs to ask the question, what does our relationship with God REALLY look like if we are not actively functioning in this manner? What are we leaving on the table?

    • Thank you for your encouraging comment, Gabryel. I have a follow up series in the works on Holy Spirit, The Third Person of the Trinity. God will write this one as well! Thank you again for stopping by today.

      • Cindy

        Absolutely, Philip, and if you would like the PDF that I sent to a few other readers, just let me know and I’ll email it to you.
        I’m glad this study about what not to do that grieves the Holy Spirit has been helpful for you. Blessings, Cindy

      • Evelyn

        Please I want to know more about the iholy Spirit …i would like to involve myself all of your topic about the Holy Spirit. Amazing to know more anout the Holy Spirit

      • Hello, Evelyn, I have a few more posts specific to the teaching of Holy Spirit which you can find through using the search field. But the best way is through reading your Bible and asking Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you. I know He will do that for you!

  4. Rayne

    Thank you for the teaching I appreciate it I’ve learned things I didn’t know about the spirit of God and what Grieves him and quenches his work in our life.

    • Cindy

      Hi, there! I’m glad this post is beneficial in your walk with God. Thank you for reading and commenting, Rayne. May you sense His Presence as you go through your day. Blessings, Cindy

  5. Gloria

    Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to minister through you in writing this article. Breaking down the meaning of Quenching the Holy Spirit vs Grieving the Holy Spirit was enlightening and helpful as I’m striving to do His will daily. I have saved this in my Inspiration Board so I can review it going forward.

    God Bless!

  6. Heather Hayes

    I really enjoyed this message Cindy. Could you please send me it in PDF format to my email address? I would love to be able to dip in and out of this when unsure of things. Thank you and bless you for helping us all. X

  7. Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

    This is so needed. Often people think we grieve the Holy Spirit only when we verbally assault God. But as you showed, it’s much more wider issue. So thank you for teaching this. Blessings to you!

    • Cindy

      So true, Mari-Anna. When we begin to understand the magnitude of Holy Spirit’s role in our lives, I believe we will be more sensitive to Him. Thank you for stopping by today!

  8. Hailey brown

    So I honestly got a lot from what you wrote but coming out of new age when I read . “Maybe you’re praying for someone and you sense in your spirit to pray in a certain direction, then do it.” What were you meaning by this sense in your spirit or direction like body position? I’m new and not being to bash or sound rude

    • Cindy

      Hi, Hailey, thank you for reading and commenting. That statement you are referring to means that oftentimes we plan to pray for someone for a certain thing but then sense Holy Spirit leading us to pray for something else. For example, I may want to pray that God opens the door for Susie to get the job she applied for but Holy Spirit directs me to pray for God to close the door IF this job isn’t God’s will for her. You see, God has a plan for each of us and sometimes we get in the way with our own wants or desires but if we are sensitive to Holy Spirit’s leading, we will pray according to God’s will.
      So, no, this isn’t referring to body position.
      Let me know if that is easier to understand, if not, feel free to contact me via my contact page and I’ll explain it better.
      By the way, I’m glad you have left the new age movement and are born again now. Praise God!

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  10. Cindy

    Thank you for explained. Its very clear and understanding. Good lessons and News to me. No one explain about it Until saw this. Question How do bring the Holy Spirit move back in you if you did stop and qrieved the Holy Spirit? I want to understand more about Holy Spirit deeply. Im hungry of God s Words.

    • Cindy

      Hi, Cindy, thanks for stopping by today. I’m glad this post helped you to understand what happens when we grieve the Holy Spirit. Let me put your mind to rest about your question. When we grieve Holy Spirit, He does not leave you though He is grieved. However, the remedy is repentance. Repent of your sin and accept His forgiveness. He will forgive you the moment you repent. So, now you know what NOT to do that grieves Him and you simply don’t do them. Carry on in your walk of faith with God. If you want, you can read this post just published last night called How the Holy Spirit Improves Your Life. It is the first in a new series on Holy Spirit.
      Again, thank you for stopping by today! Blessings, Cindy

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  13. Mar

    May the Lord bless you abundantly Cindy! I am rejoicing in God for this powerful article. 🙂 The Holy Spirit himself gave this revelation to you. We often forget WHO the Holy Spirit is and the place in our lives that he should truly occupy. He should always be the center, our everything. Without him we won’t be able to achieve redemption on the day of our Lord!! Without him we are crippled. I can testify myself how much my life has changed after I started giving the Spirit of God the priority in my life. He is truly magnificent, eternally overwhelming and just The Perfection of God himself. I call Him the best of God here on earth. Thank you for reminding us of how to care for our relationship with him. God bless you!

    • Cindy

      Thank you, so very much for your comment, Mar. I truly appreciate it. May we always give Him the proper place in our lives as He is the leading force within us. Without Him, we are doomed to a life of just existing, which is the same as your comment, “we are crippled.” May you always experience the Holy Spirit in your life as God desires for you. Blessings, Cindy

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  15. Maddie

    I really like that you sharing how can grieve the Holy Spirit in us not knowing by just being desobidient or not to sensitive to the voice that tell us to do this or to do that.thank you so much.

    • Cindy

      I’m glad this post was helpful to you, Maddie. Yes, it is important to know how we grieve the Holy Spirit, whether it is intentional or not. Thanks for visiting today!

  16. Eunice Swart

    Please can I have this sent to me via email. I want to then print a copy. 5things that grieve the Holy Spirit. Awesome word you gave. I thank my GOD.

    • Cindy

      Hi, Eunice, thank you for your request for the handout for this post. I shall send it to you right away! I’m glad you stopped by for a visit this morning and that you enjoyed this post on the 5 Things That Grieve the Holy Spirit.

      Have a blessed day!

  17. Kathy Branic

    Cindy, it’s absolutely amazing how God works in our lives. Thank you so much for this post. I sincerely believe God led me here tonight. I am saving this so I can read it over and over. I needed this to help me understand some things. I am grateful to God that he lead me here and to you for letting His word speak through you. I plan on looking for your other posts. Thank you so much.

    • Cindy

      Thank you, Kathy, for your kind words. I am glad this post has been helpful to you. All praise to God for directing your steps as He led you here. Have a blessed and wonderful day.

  18. Yaqoob Peter

    Thanks for such a rare topic of personal relation and guidence to with Holy Spirit . I am an instructor in biblical hebrew , leading a small bible school in pakistan .

    • Cindy

      You are most welcome. I trust this has been helpful to you and you can use it to teach your students about the Holy Spirit. Blessings to you in Pakistan!

  19. Glenda

    I want so much to live a life controlled by God. I am so scared of disappointing Him. I pray everyday for Hos Wisdom. This is very helpful for me Thanks🙏🙏

    • Cindy

      Hi, Glenda, I know what you mean! However, don’t let fear get in the way as that is what the devil wants, for you to live in fear. I’m glad this post is helpful to you. Thank you for sharing your heart with me.

    • Cindy

      Hi, Tracy, thanks for reading this important post about what not to do to the Holy Spirit. Something we all need to remember as we walk each day in holiness, pleasing God and Holy Spirit.

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  22. Arlene

    A lady once told me that I am greiving the Holy Spirit because I was fighting to keep my marriage and she said that I am choosing my husband above God and I am greiving the Holy Spirit. However I never stopped having a relationship with God and He still used me to pray for people. This confused me to an extent that my husband and I are separated.

    • Cindy

      Hi, Arlene. I am so sorry that she misdirected you concerning the Holy Spirit and whether you were grieving Him or not. I hope that the truth in this post helps you to understand what “grieving” Him is all about.

      As for the ‘advice’ she gave you and the result it caused, I pray that God will restore your marriage if that is His will (I do not know the situation but He does) and I pray that you will continue to draw close to Him and walk in the Light of the Truth.

      Thank you for visiting today and taking the time to share your story.

  23. Faith

    Thank you for your wonderful article on the Holy Spirit! It is good to hear of this teaching because not too many want to talk about our Supreme and Wonderful Teacher! God has been my constant throughout ALL my life and has never let me down; man has let me down but not the Holy Spirit.
    Great insight.

    • Cindy

      Hello, Faith, I’m so glad you appreciate this post. You are right, Holy Spirit is often overlooked in churches today. I’m glad to say that in our church, we are heavily dependent on Him to lead us in the way we should go. I’m glad that’s the same way for you too! Thanks for stopping by today.

  24. Faith

    Thank you for your wonderful article on the Holy Spirit! It is good to hear of this teaching because not too many want to talk about our Supreme and Wonderful Teacher! God has been my constant throughout ALL my life and has never let me down; man has let me down but not the Holy Spirit.
    Great insight.

  25. Tracy pridgon

    Thank you so much for those powerful words. Your words has enlightened me concerning the the Holy Spirit. Because my understanding of grieving and quenching the Spirit was somewhat different. Thank you for opening my eyes and heart. Lesson learned, Tracy

  26. Mitchell Jones

    You explained this very well, I have a better understanding of grieving and quenching The Holy Spirit.
    Thank you so much
    Mitchell Jones

  27. Gina

    What do you do when you have grieved the Holy Spirit? When you do not feel his presence anymore? You’ve asked for forgiveness but still feel nothing.

    • Hello, Gina,
      Thanks for asking this question.

      The most important thing to do is go by what the Word of God says and not your feelings. Our feelings are fickle and cannot be trusted but God’s Word is true and trustworthy. When you repent of your sin, God quickly forgives you and that barrier between you is removed. Holy Spirit is within you. These are Biblical truths that you can count on.

      To be honest, there are days when I don’t feel His presence either but that does not mean that He is not with me. Hebrews 13:5 says that He will never leave you or forsake you. Believe He is with you because He dwells within you. You are not alone, Gina.

      So, stand on the Word of God and not your feelings. Let the Word be your guide (Psalm 119:105) and trust it.

      I hope this helps you.

      Blessings, Cindy

  28. Renea

    Hi! I just tried to post this to Facebook and it’s not letting me. I had to copy paste it there on my Facebook. They called it spam.

    • Hey, thanks for wanting to share this with your friends on FB. And yes, FB has blocked my link as spam for some reason. After multiple attempts asking them to review my site, they still haven’t responded or unblocked my website. So, unfortunately, any blog post with my link will not be posted on FB. Sad, don’t you think?

  29. charles

    Hi Cindy,

    I really liked your article. I’m having a hard time understanding one thing though:

    “Grieving the Spirit is also done collectively as a group which, individually, we have no control over.”

    It seems to me we can grieve the Holy Spirit when we go along with group think when we know, in our hearts, it’s wrong. It may be the Lord is expecting one to speak up for Him even though others acquiesce. The “… we have no control over.” is giving me a problem.

    I’m not sure if “we” refers to me individually or we the group has no control. For example a group might have an incorrect position but the position is decided by member vote, therefore I have little control over the outcome.

    Thank you, Charles

    • Hello, Charles. Thanks for reading this post and commenting. You are correct with your remark that when we go along with the group’s decision or action when we know it is wrong. The group has grieved Holy Spirit. You are right in that the “we have no control over” is partially wrong and partially right. At that point, if you know it is wrong, then speak up or leave the group. If the group doesn’t change its course of action, the group has grieved Holy Spirit. If the group agrees with you and changes its action, then repentance is required before carrying on.

      Thanks for pointing this out. I will clarify my statement in the post.

      Blessings to you!

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