If you haven’t gotten a-hold of a copy of Robert Morris’ The God I Never Knew, then I highly recommend you do. As Morris states within the text, this book was not written with the intent of being “informational,” but rather “transformational.” I am half-way reading through it, and as an already Spirit-filled Christian, my experience so far has been finding it to be both. The break-down of who the Holy Spirit is in relation to the Trinity, and the utter necessity of His presence in our lives in order for us to walk in the power that Christ made available on the cross to all of humanity is indeed presented in a way that all of us, new or not-so-new to our walk of faith, can be transformed and renewed of mind/relationship.
I’m not here to write a book review though. What I wanted to share is in relation to our study on forgiveness. I think many Christians who have a skewed view of the Holy Spirit tend to view Him as an invisible force, or somehow lacking any real human qualities. But as Morris develops his section titled “What Is This Person Like,” it becomes increasingly evident that the Holy Spirit has a personality, and the same personality traits as the Father and the Son–those involving a mind, a will, and emotions. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit in order that each of us all over the world could experience a personal relationship with God, simultaneously. He desires to be our friend and our helper, if only we would let Him. When we let him be our close companion, we begin to value our relationship with the Holy Spirit, and, just like with any earthly best friend, we should care whether or not the decisions we make or the actions we take bring Him joy or pain. We can’t expect to bring Him grief through our actions in one moment, and then turn around in the next and expect Him to move mightily through us. Would you want your best friend to treat you like that? Ask yourself, “what do I do that grieves the Holy Spirit?” Ephesians 4:25-32 provides some answers, and what those behaviors essentially boil down to is the manner in which we treat fellow human beings–pointedly, our fellow believers in Christ. We often don’t think about it this way, but because the Holy Spirit lives in each of us as believers, mistreating each other not only means hurting a fellow believer, but that we are also mistreating and hurting the Holy Spirit. How’s that for a spiritual punch-to-the-gut? A lack of forgiveness towards a brother or sister in Christ means a lack of forgiveness and an act of rebellion towards the Holy Spirit whose desire is to work in and through us all.
In conclusion, maybe you’re harboring unforgiveness in your heart towards another believer. I challenge you to think of what you are putting at stake–yours, and possibly their intimacy with the Holy Spirit. And before you ever get another chance to do so, ask the Holy Spirit to help you prepare your heart now in order to remain vigilant over your relationship with Him.