The Spirit’s Grief.

“to expose our heart to truth and consistently refuse or neglect to obey the impulses it arouses is to stymie the motions of life within us and, if persisted, to grieve the Holy Spirit into silence.” A.W. Tozer

I live a very blessed life.  I have only experienced the death of a handful of relatives, all of whom were old(er) and/or sick.  I have never had to experience the pain of parents divorcing, or of family rejecting me.  I have had trials and struggles that have created a sense of self doubt, but they are minimal when I begin to look at the world I am living in.

You see, I have lived what many would consider a “sheltered” life.  I am not saying there is anything wrong with this, but that is also because I am aware of the areas where I am sheltered.  I don’t live in a neighborhood where I see gangs and drugs outside my window.  I don’t have a family that tears me down or threatens my life on a daily basis.  I don’t (often) see men, women, and children who have not eaten in days and are slowly starving to death.  I live a “sheltered” life that sometimes allows me to block out the pain and hurt that so many are experiencing.

Kyle and I watched a painfully heart-breaking movie called, For Colored Girls.  Please, before you even consider watching this, be aware that it is rated R for good reasons.  It discusses through a mixture of poetry and dialogue very serious topics from sex, abortion, rape, abuse, even incest, murder, and suicide.  While it is very well made, it is very serious and straight forward in what happens in this movie.  There were parts that I could not watch at all.  But there was one scene where a man, who is suffering from disillusionment brought about by the horrors of war, murders his two young children.  I screamed and even though it was “just a movie,” I broke down and sobbed.  Every time I thought about what happened, my heart broke again and the tears began flowing.  But why, it’s just a movie…right?

The quote from A.W. Tozer explains how I feel.

“to expose our heart to truth and consistently refuse or neglect to obey the impulses it arouses is to stymie the motions of life within us and, if persisted, to grieve the Holy Spirit into silence.” A.W. Tozer

While this is specifically speaking about salvation, I feel that it can also be applied to these filters that we create in our lives.  I am not saying that we should expose ourselves to every evil that exists in the world.  I am saying that I, personally, have a tendency to create walls in my own, safe, little world.  I don’t see the pain that some people deal with every day, so I have a skewed perception of how to “fix” the problem.  I don’t know what it is like to be hungry every day, slowly dying from the inside out, so I have a skewed perception of how to create a “solution.”

The pain and evil in this world only has one “solution.”  There is only one way to “fix” the problems that so many people face each and every day.  Jesus.  Only through the second coming of the King can we find peace and rest from these “issues” as politicians like to categorize them.  My being exposed won’t solve the problem, it would just change my perception.  But, by seeing a different point of view, I feel the agony of the Spirit that is living inside of me.  I believe that the reason that I could not stop crying, even at the thought of a scene from a fictional movie, was because it addressed something that grieves the Spirit.  If I were to ignore those indications, I would ultimately grieve the Spirit into silence.  I would become immune to those evils.  I would begin ignoring those despicable sins and accept it as, “just the way it is.”  I do this with other sins that I do see every day, such as selfishness, lying, cheating, lust, and hate.

I may know a different life than some.  I may be considered “innocent” and “oblivious.”  But I do not take the blessings in my life as an excuse to simply put up blinders to what other people experience.  I am thankful that I do not have to live that life.  I am thankful that I am blessed in so many ways.  But I am also thankful that I have the Spirit of Christ living inside of me and he will not allow me to become apathetic because it is easier than facing the evilness of a sinful life.  I do not have to experience those sins to know that they grieve the Spirit; He tells me that Himself.  But, just because I do not have to experience them, does not give me an excuse to ignore them completely.

This is my challenge.  What is yours?

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