This will be the last exhortation based on the beginning of Ephesians 5, and one final reminder that thanksgiving is not just a sign of health, it is a medicine that works healing. Thanksgiving is not the completion of holiness, like splashing into the pool at the end of a water slide, the arms of thanksgiving swim against the stream of lusts and discontent and idolatry.
Certain things “must not even be named” among saints, certain things are “out of place.” Paul says in Ephesians 5:4, “but instead let there be thanksgiving.” And if the sexually immoral and impure and covetous are the sons of disobedience and have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God (5:5-6), then sons of obedience are also known as sons of gratitude. They are thankful on their way to get their inheritance.
At our L2L leaders retreat a couple weeks ago Ian Lugg talked about wanting to be known as “the gratitude guy.” It wasn’t in this context of opposing these sins, but it fits. It’s for his family, for the aroma of his home, for showing his kids not just what to say but how to say it. What an epitaph to pursue: “the gratitude guy.”
Thankfulness doesn’t mean every desire is eliminated, it does mean that desires don’t panic and get in front of their skis, or point off the trail toward the woods which God has declared off limits.
Fight filth with thanks. Thank God that you’re in the fight. Thank God for good desires, and for the opportunity to obey Him while you wait for Him to provide. So even later in Ephesians 5:20, those filled with His Spirit are “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”