“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity…” (Ephesians 5:3).
I sometimes give a message called “Walk Worthy of Your Calling.” We have a high calling to not live like the world, but to model a life like Jesus lived. There is so much in Scripture to guide us in how we are to walk as children of God.
The verse above certainly gives us a strong admonition. What does it mean, for our daily lives, that there must not be even a hint of immorality or impurity? I think it means there should not be even a hint of unholy choices. This should affect all our decisions and actions. Usually we don’t “sin big” in most of these areas. But perhaps there is sometimes a hint.
What Comes In
Not even a hint should affect “what comes in.” What we let our eyes look on has long-lasting effects on our minds and our thinking. Movies, television, magazines, internet, books—there should not be even a hint of questionable intake.
Probably drunkenness falls here—taking in too much. Certainly our testimony before others must not cause even a hint of suspicion, nor a possibility of a stumbling block. And we must also be alert to the damage we do to ourselves when we are conformed to the world’s way of thinking.
What Goes Out
Not even a hint should affect “what goes out.” Admonitions to guard our tongues fill God’s Word:
“Rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips” (Colossians 3:8).
“Nor should there be any obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking…” (Ephesians 5:4).
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up…”(Ephesians 4:29).
“Let your conversation be always full of grace…” (Colossians 4:6).
There should not be even a hint of gossip, deceit, coarseness, profanity, unkindness…you can fill in the rest.
What Goes On
Not even a hint should also affect “what goes on.” There should not be even a hint of suggestiveness or inappropriateness in our dress. We should always consider the impact of our appearance on others—our brothers, our children, a watching world. And of course on how we represent our Lord.
Righteousness: In, Out, On
But Paul doesn’t just leave us with these exhortations of “not even a hint.” He goes on to tell us what should go in, go out, go on:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…love…. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:12,14,17).
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1)
“…set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
What a privilege and responsibility that we can be known as people who overflow with the love and holiness and righteousness given to us by the Lord Jesus!
C2011 Judy Douglass