At the end of Ephesians 4 and through the beginning of Ephesians 5 - Paul instructs the believers in Ephesus on how to live as Children of The Light. Here are some Don'ts that Paul lists -
  1. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth
  2. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit
  3. Do not sow bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander or malice.
Paul also delivers some Do's -
  1. Speak only what is helpful for building others up
  2. Be kind
  3. Be compassionate
  4. Be forgiving 
However, there is some strong language that Paul uses in Ephesians 5:3 that stands out from the rest of the Do Not's that I noticed. The verse reads, "But among you there must not be even a hint of....". Let me stop right there. Did you read and feel the forcefulness and toughness in the phrase "even a hint of"? The original Greek word for this phrase is onomazo, meaning anything you have to confess, designate or call categorically a name. The list that comes afterwards is as follows -
  1. Sexual immorality
  2. Any kind of impurity
  3. Any kind of greed
  4. Obscenity
  5. Foolish talk
  6. Coarse joking
So, if you take the strong language out of the equation, out of the reading - you have a normal encouragement to stay away from these things. However, the Holy Spirit prompted Paul to emphasize "there must not be even a hint of" the above characteristics in the believer or Christian community. He says, this ESPECIALLY, should not be an identifier of the Children of The Light because it is "improper for God's Holy people" (v. 3).

The substitution for all the possible negativity is Thanksgiving. Paul says, "Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving." (v.4) Thanksgiving to God for anything and everything that comes to mind places our focus back where it should be - God.

Thanksgiving is a big part of making sure there is "not even a hint of..." the sinful in our midst. If you keep reading in Ephesians 5, Paul mentions an additional help. If you live as Children of The Light, as he has laid out, and "find out what pleases the Lord" (v.10), then you will have "fruit of the light". You have heard about The Fruit of the Spirit, now read about The Fruit of The Light. Paul says, "Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord." (verses 9-10).

Living this out may be a challenge, but understanding it is not. If you choose to - 
  1. live as Children of The Light, as a person and as a Church
  2. especially heed to what is said about what among you there must not be even a hint found
  3. Keep Thanksgiving and what pleases God out front
- then you will see manifested "the fruit of light", which is goodness, righteousness and truth. And all of us know we need more of each of those in our world today. For us to be better Children of The Light, for us to bear much fruit of The Light - it all boils down to being Imitators Of God (Ephesians 5:1).