IMITATORS OF GOD
- Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth
- Do not grieve the Holy Spirit
- Do not sow bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander or malice.
- Speak only what is helpful for building others up
- Be kind
- Be compassionate
- Be forgiving
- Sexual immorality
- Any kind of impurity
- Any kind of greed
- Foolish talk
- Coarse joking
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 -
- live as Children of The Light, as a person and as a Church
- especially heed to what is said about what among you there must not be even a hint found
- Keep Thanksgiving and what pleases God out front