When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money and said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit."
Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God."
— Acts 8:18-21 tniv
Simon's sin is obvious to most of us. His callous disregard for the sacredness of the Holy Spirit's work is sickening. He treats this incredible blessing of God as a commodity to be purchased and manipulated. Yet how many times have we tried to manipulate the work and influence of the Holy Spirit? Without humility and only for our own gain, we nonchalantly talk about the Holy Spirit as if the Spirit were our errand gopher, our servant to do our bidding, our tool instead of remembering that the Holy Spirit is God's presence and power graciously given to us. Let's look at the gift of the Spirit's presence within us and influence upon us with a deeper sense of reverent thanks!
O Father, God Almighty, please forgive me for devaluing the Holy Spirit — the gift of your presence within my life. I am sorry for this irreverent approach to your awesome grace. In Jesus' name I ask for this forgiveness. Amen.