The Look

| 05 March 2020

Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. 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."

As a child, do you recall hearing these words: “wait ‘till your dad gets home”? What will the punishment be? Nothing brought more fear or trepidation except “the look” … followed by the words, “I’m so disappointed.” Ugh. As a child those words are utterly devastating. As adults, we understand that they come out of a deep longing for our children to obey, not in order to some how attain perfection, but because that is what’s best for them!

Ephesians 4:28-30 says, Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. 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.

The NLT expands verse 30 with: Remember, he has identified you as his own. Paul is telling us to not forget our identity! This identity is clarified in Ephesians 1:3-14. This is who God created you to be — not a thief or a slanderer — but a holy child of the King, sealed by the Holy Spirit.

Charles Spurgeon affirms, “Although the word ‘grieve’ is a painful one, there is honey in the rock; for it is an inexpressibly delightful thought, that he who rules heaven and earth, and is the creator of all things, and the infinite and ever blessed God, condescends to enter into such infinite relationships with his people that his divine mind may be affected by their actions. What a marvel that Deity should be said to grieve over the faults of beings so utterly insignificant as we are! The Spirit would not be the Spirit of truth if he could approve of that which is false in us: he would not be pure if that which is impure in us did not grieve him.”

Are you grieving the Holy Spirit? Are you living with the burden of unconfessed sin? 1 John 1:9 offers the solution: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

God’s “look” at our sin is not one of disdain, but rather sadness and compassion. He longs for us to live in the freedom that comes from obedience to him. Although not always easy, his ways are perfect, full of grace and abounding in love.

LIVE THE STORY: Is there something that God is calling you to confess? Start by confessing your sin to God then ask him to give you the strength to ask for forgiveness from the person you have wronged. God promises to forgive, and the truth will set you free!

For further study, reflect on Galatians 5:13-26.

Lynette Fuson
Women’s Ministry Director