Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
I received an unwanted surprise in the mail. My town had installed cameras at key intersections that were designed to take photographs of drivers in the act of running red lights. It seems that I was one of those drivers . . . and I was looking at the proof! There were three photographs of my truck: the first, in the left turn lane; the second, in the middle of the intersection with the traffic signal above; the third, a close-up of my license plate. There was no denying that the vehicle belonged to me. The town instructed me to send 50 dollars by mail or else face further civil action. In the face of such clear evidence, I immediately forked over the money.
Frankly, I was embarrassed by the whole thing. I had broken the law and someone else had seen me do it. It wasn’t a very good feeling. But that got me thinking: what if we were to go to our mailbox tomorrow and find a surprise letter filled with snapshots of all the things we had done the day before, including facial expressions and captions of the words we had spoken. I wonder how many of the photographs would bring us embarrassment or chagrin.
The truth is, wherever we go we take God’s Spirit with us. Whatever we say in private, He hears. Whatever thoughts we think that no one else can see, He sees. I imagine we must grieve Him often. Unfortunately, we don’t have the motivation to stop sinning because we see our sin caught on camera. Frankly, there aren’t cameras powerful enough to capture the gossip, pride, and rebellion that can escape our lips and occupy our hearts every day. But God sees it all . . . and it grieves His heart. So, let’s start today by praying that God will open our eyes to see what He sees and give our hearts a sensitivity to even the smallest transgression that might otherwise slip by unnoticed.