Ephesians 4:28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
Ephesians 5:3-4 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
The two verses mentioned above came from Paul as he was addressing a problem in the church in Ephesus. It would be interesting to see that Paul actually showed us how we can fight lust and temptations in these two verses.
In Ephesians 4:28 Paul tells us that instead of stealing, let’s decide to work. We have two choices – steal or work. And he tells us why we need to work. We work to provide for us and to share some to others.
In the next chapter Paul then argues in the same way on how to get free from sexual immorality, green jokes, pre-marital sex and etc… He says the impure sexual life must be replaced with THANKSGIVING.
Okay, we seem to lose the connection. I thought the way to overcome impurity is purity. But Paul goes deeper than our average pat answers when someone is living in sexual sin. Typically, we tell someone who is in sin to just stop sinning. We address the behavior and not the heart.
Paul goes to our hearts and tells us to fight sexual sin – be thankful. That means be satisfied and content with God.
Let me now quote Douglas Wilson in his book Father Hunger: Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families
Paul doesn’t tell us to fight dirty jokes with clean jokes, lame or not. He says to fight dirty jokes with contentment and gratitude. And for those who see the world biblically, they see that those whose talk is full of corruption are not revealing a worldly wise sophistication, but rather a seething and unhappy discontent.
Just as the thief is trying to get something the easy way instead of God’s way, so also the person with a foul mouth is trying to get satisfaction in his own way. But outside of Jesus Christ, there can be no deep satisfaction – and in Christ everything is pure.
Question: Where do you find your satisfaction?