“The Holy Spirit Told Me . . . “

“The Holy Spirit Told Me . . . “ August 11, 2021

Is there a better way to shut down a conversation than by saying, “The Holy Spirit told me . . . ?” I don’t think so. You could be talking about anything and as soon as your conversation partner utters these words, what else can you say? The most recent edition of this tactic I saw happened during a conversation about the COVID vaccine and Delta variant cases. Johns Hopkins recently ran a report comparing unvaccinated and vaccinated people and what percentage of current cases come from each group. According to the particular Christian who didn’t like these numbers, they were wrong . . . because the Holy Spirit said they were.

“I don’t listen to man,” she said. “The Holy Spirit leads you to truth.”


Sorry to break it to all you ” the Holy Spirit told me” people, but that’s not how the Holy Spirit works. How do I know? The Holy Spirit told me. See how we can go ’round and ’round and get nowhere?

But seriously, that’s not how the Holy Spirit seems to work. She isn’t in the business of refuting data you don’t like, even going so far as refuting esteemed medical scientists. She isn’t in the business of confirming your anti-vaccination biases simply because you don’t want to get the jab. Biblically speaking, the Holy Spirit is in the business of standing with the accused. If the satan is the accuser, the Holy Spirit is the defender. If the satan is the prosecuting attorney, the Holy Spirit is the defense attorney.

“Biblically-based Christians” should read their Bibles more.

The Holy Spirit is also the spirit of mercy and forgiveness. In John 20, after the risen Christ returns to his disciples, what spirit does he breathe onto them? The spirit of forgiveness. He says as much:

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

See how this works? Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit on them, and then tells them what that spirit looks like. Peace. Forgiveness. Mercy.

This isn’t some catch-all, use it when it suits you, spirit. You don’t get to play fast and loose with it. There is a specific context. The Spirit has a specific “job,” if you will. To use it as a cop-out for whatever you do or don’t want to do is to abuse the gift Christ gave us.

At the end of the day, if you don’t want to get the vaccine, just say that you don’t want to get the vaccine. Say that you don’t think it’s safe. I don’t agree with you, and neither do most medical professionals – that’s why I got mine months ago – but at least own your decision. You have every right to be hesitant about what goes into your body. You have every right to have questions and concerns about everything you do in life. I had questions. I had concerns. But that doesn’t mean those concerns stopped me from doing what I thought was right. This wasn’t about the Holy Spirit, it was about using the mind God gave me.

Until next time.

PS: You should get the vaccine. The Holy Spirit told me so.

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About Matthew Distefano
Matthew is a best-selling author, blogger, podcaster, long-time social worker, and hip-hop artist. He is an outspoken advocate for nonviolence, happily married, with one daughter. Outside of writing, his interests include gardening, hiking, and European football. He lives in Northern California You can read more about the author here.
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