Ephesians 5 is a powerful chapter. One of the reasons for its power is that Paul masterful addresses some issues about living a life of purity in an immoral society. One of the issues he addresses almost seems out of place. Consider these verses:
Ephesians 5:3-4 But fornication, and all uncleanness, and covetous, let it not be once named among you as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient, but rather GVING OF THANKS.
Giving of thanks is the opposite of living a life of impurity. What? I confess that I had overlooked this for the longest time, but once I studied it, I have found that gratitude is a powerful tool in living a life of purity. Here are three reasons why.
- Gratitude produces contentment.
In the battle for purity, discontentment is a short cut to failure. It opens the door for me to believe that I deserve more than what I have. For you that are married, you may begin to think that you deserve more time, affection, and intimacy from your spouse. For you that are single, you begin to think that you deserve an outlet for your sexual desires. Gratitude for the blessings of your life is a powerful key to overcoming. Say it. Pray it. Thank you God for my spouse. Thank you for my singleness. Thank you for helping me to enjoy and understand this time of my life. Thank you for helping me to grow during this time of my life. Gratitude produces contentment.
- Gratitude improves emotions.
Like discontentment, negative emotions of any kind are also a short cut to failure. We can all battle things like anger, loneliness, weariness, and bitterness. When we do, we become very self-focused and our emotions frequently continue on a decline. The answer is gratitude. Instead of carrying our negative emotions, we overcome them by allowing gratitude to move us into a better frame of mind where we can make rational decisions. Try it. Say “thank you” frequently. Pray it often. Sing songs of thanksgiving. Count your blessings! Gratitude improves emotions.
- Gratitude overcomes evil.
“Be not overcome of evil,” the Bibles says in Romans 12:21, “but overcome evil with good.” Instead of dwelling on fornication and uncleanness, overcome by giving thanks. Instead of listening to filthy or vulgar songs or movies, overcome by giving thanks. Rather than allow your past, whatever the past may be, overcome by giving thanks. Don’t focus on failure, but give thanks for God’s forgiveness and grace. Gratitude overcomes evil!
What do you think?
Your sincere friend,