Opposites

Kristen Deede Johnson

READ : Ephesians 5:1-5

Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. (v. 4)

What comes to mind when you try to think of the opposite of obscenity? Or silliness? Or vulgarity? Honestly, many words would come to my mind before I thought of thanksgiving. But here in Ephesians we read that instead of obscene, silly, and vulgar talk there should be thanksgiving. The writer of this letter to the Ephesians seems to offer “thanksgiving” as a contrast to fornication, impurity, and greed. He suggests that gratitude is the fitting response to God’s love and forgiveness.

When I stop to think about it, it makes sense. When I’m aware of the love and grace shown to me by my husband, I’m more likely to respond to him with gratitude and love. When I reflect upon the ways in which my parents have loved me and sacrificed for me, I find that my own words and actions toward them overflow with thanksgiving.

It’s not really surprising, then, that when we live as beloved children of God, aware of the love of God in Christ Jesus—the One who loved us and sacrificed himself for us—we’ll also live with thanksgiving. This thanksgiving will flow out of us, resulting in love, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control rather than impurity, greed, and obscenity.

PRAYER

Please, Lord, let there be thanksgiving in our hearts and minds as we love and serve you.