But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (Ephesians 5:3 NIV)
I have been wondering why Paul says that there shouldn’t be a hint of immorality in our lives, rather than just telling us to not engage in impure acts. I realised that the root of impurity is the slightest hint. When the mind begins to have hints or thoughts of impure acts, it then processes them in our minds and hearts. When the heart and mind get in sync with impure thoughts, it causes the person to engage in them. This is because the mind is the power house of the body which controls our actions, whilst the heart gives it the passion or drive to engage in such activities.
This is why Paul warns us not to have even a hint that of impurity in our lives. The ‘hint’ will grow and cause us to sin in our lives. The root of sexual immorality is the impure thoughts, which if it is not uprooted, allows the stem to grow, which is the act of sin that is committed.
This is why Romans 12:2 tells us to renew our minds with the word of God and Joshua 1:8 tells us to meditate on His word day and night. The word of God acts as firewall which blocks these impure thoughts and helps us to set our minds on things that are pure (Philippians 4:8).
This is why David said “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you”. (Psalm 119:11 NIV)
If anyone is struggling with impurity, deal with the problem firstly by looking at the root of the sin (impure thoughts), rather than just the act of it. By dealing with the root, we stop the plant of impurity from growing, and thus it wouldn’t produce the fruit of death, which is the consequence of sin. Of course, this cannot be dealt with without the power of the Holy Spirit within us.