I have heard it said dozens of times “You can’t be the Holy Spirit in their life” or “Stop playing Holy Spirit with them.” I understand what could be meant by this. It would be blasphemous for any of us to pretend to take the Spirit’s place in penetrating to the heart of a person. Sadly, however, the attitude that is more often behind this rebuke is one of individualism and a resistance to accountability. Let me explain.

The truth is, while we are not supposed to try to be the Holy Spirit to other people we are commanded to “speak the truth in love” (Eph 4:15). And this truth comes from none other than “the Spirit of truth” through the Word of God (John 16:3). The difference is when we try to speak on our own authority. But when we resist a Word spoken in love by another person, we actually risk ignoring the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not my own personal almanac for life, but is the very glue which binds us together with other believers (Eph. 4:3). The Spirit uses each of us to speak into one another’s lives with the Word of God, which is from the Spirit. We deceive ourselves if we think we just need ourselves and our own personal Holy Spirit. God did not design us as believers to function this way. We need to have the humility to recognize that the Spirit works through all the means of grace that God has given and that includes the communion of saints.

We are not supposed to try to be the Holy Spirit to each other, but we are to be the mouthpiece of God, lovingly speaking the truth through which the Spirit works. Your brothers and sisters are not the Paraclete but they are a tool in His hand.

Next time someone says something to you and you begin to think, “You can’t be the Holy Spirit to me!” Check your heart. You might be shutting the Spirit out.