How do we Grieve the Spirit of God?

Someone mentioned to me not too long ago that we need to be careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit. I fully agree. But 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.

Grieve the Spirit of God | Quench Grieve the Holy Spirit | What Not to Do to the Holy Spirit

There are two Scripture verses with these 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.


Grieve the Spirit of God | Quench Grieve the Holy Spirit | What Not to Do to the Holy Spirit


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

Paul is teaching in Ephesians 4 (click link to read the whole chapter) that when we are walking worthy of the vocation we have been called to, that we will put away the old conversation, the old man and be renewed in our minds (vs 1, 22, 23). We will put away the lying, stealing and all things pertaining to the old life 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, we distress and grieve the Spirit of God.

In the Thessalonian passage, 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.

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


What Not to Do

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. 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.


Deny the Holy Spirit

Do not shun the work of the Holy Spirit within our lives. He is our Comforter, our Healer, our Teacher, our everything. He is the power in our lives. He knows what we need and can and will supply that. When we think we do not need Him, that other avenues are the solution, then we are rejecting the work of the Spirit which is quenching Him and 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 we used a water hose to extinguish His fire. He may have wanted us to praise and worship in the Spirit. There are a number of ways He wants to express Himself but instead we put out the fire.

So, by denying the power and move of the Holy Spirit, we quench the Spirit and our actions grieve the Spirit of God.


Grieve the Spirit of God | Quench Grieve the Holy Spirit | What Not to Do to the Holy Spirit


Don’t Apply the Word of Truth in Our Lives

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.

Both Paul and John teach how we should walk in the light as He is in the light. This means we are 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 Spirit God.


Don’t Want 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. 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 Spirit of God.

When we focus only on ourselves, we grieve the 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 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.


Don’t Rely on the 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 the Spirit and that grieves the 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 the power, without the Holy Spirit. We cannot do this in our strength.

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 Spirit of God.


That’s a Wrap

There are other ways in addition to the above that we can grieve the Spirit of God. To sum it all up would be anything we do that excludes the Trinity is grieving Him.

Grieving the Spirit is also done collectively as a group which, individually, we have no control over. 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 Elohim, God the Father, God the Son and God 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 in 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 these verses. Please leave a comment down below in Penny for your thoughts… section.





How do we grieve the Holy Spirit? By causing Him grief, pain or distress. How do we do that? By being hearers of the Word only. Let's find out more...

About Cindy

Lovin' the Word of God - reading it - studying it - sharing it - living it!

6 thoughts on “How do we Grieve the Spirit of God?

  1. Hi Cindy thank you for an awesome piece of Truth – it means so much to me and had to repent for quenching and griefing the Holy Spirit. I choose to yield to the Holy Spirit. Bless you for sharing God’slot Truth.

    1. Hi Erna! I am so glad that this post on grieving the Holy Spirit spoke to your heart. I pray the words of Truth will stay with you as you go about each day. Blessings, Cindy

  2. Excellent! What comes to mind is these words and discouragement…its all connected and it is all part of our journey and walk with Jesus. Desiring to be more like him and allowing his spirit to change us by faith.

    1. Hi Karen. Yes, desiring to be more like Him is pleasing to the Holy Spirit, who helps us with that desire. Let us always strive to please Him rather than grieve Him. Thanks for stopping by today!

    1. Hi April. Yes, it is rich and deep, isn’t it? And yes, it certainly does complement the armour of God study. Thank you for stopping by today!

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