What is a root cause of immorality? What is underneath impurity and greed? What is behind filthiness and silly talk? Or ungodly coarse jesting? What is a root cause of any sin? All of these things should not even be named among God’s people because they are not fitting with the calling Christians have in Christ Jesus. And yet sometimes believers are ensnared in these very kinds of sins that are not the mark of a believer but of an unbeliever. How does that happen? How do these sins grow in the life of a believer?
Paul by the Holy Spirit helps us answer that question:
Ephesians 5:3-4 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
If instead of these sins we are to be marked by gratitude (“giving of thanks”) then ingratitude accompanies these sins. In fact, ingratitude is part of the root of these sins.
A greenhouse has optimal moisture and warmth for certain kinds of plants to grow. Ingratitude is the greenhouse of sin. The person who commits immorality is not thankful for the pleasures that they have within God’s will-they want something else, they are unthankful. The same is true of impurity or greed or any other sin. Sin is a rejection of God’s law. In other words, it is a rejection of God Himself. Therefore, it is a statement of ingratitude toward the One who made us for Himself, sustains us for Himself and who has displayed His love for us in Jesus Christ on the cross. He has done this in spite of the fact that we as His ungrateful image bearers have willfully pursued what is displeasing to Him. All sin is an expression of ingratitude. Therefore, an ungrateful heart is part of the atmosphere of sin’s greenhouse. But what about gratitude? Gratitude destroys sin at the root. Thankfulness says God is infinitely worthy of our worship and therefore sin is not.
It is no wonder that again and again Scripture says these kinds of things:
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Don’t let ingratitude fester in your soul. An unthankful spirit will always be sinfully fruitful and multiply.