The sermon at church a couple of weeks ago was from Matthew 5:16: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (ESV) Of course the speaker’s immediate question was “what do you hunger and thirst for?”
Funny the list that ran through my head at that point. Recognition? Acceptance? Relevancy? Permanence? Worth?
I knew I did also hunger and thirst for righteousness, but in that moment of the pastor’s challenge, I knew righteousness wasn’t always my primary desire. No, I tend to hunger for righteousness in the same way that I occasionally hunger for a well-cooked veggie–like roasted green beans or fresh peas or even some nicely steamed broccoli florets. I don’t crave those things often, though I try to work them more consistently into my diet that I used to.
No, I tend to crave–to hunger for–less substantial things to satisfy both body and soul.
Cookies. Brownies. Pies. Ice Cream.
Acceptance. Accolades. Significance.
Those things will fill me up for a moment, make me think I’ve assuaged the gnawing hunger inside, but only when I hunger and thirst for righteousness will I find complete and lasting satisfaction. I guess the good news as I’ve continued to contemplate this is that the righteousness we are to hunger after is not a righteousness derived of the Law or even my own will power. It is Christ’s righteousness. His death and resurrection made it available to clothe me, but I must choose to put it on each moment, each day.
So the thing for which I ought to hunger and thirst is well within my grasp. Jesus made sure of that. I just have to discipline myself to reach for the good stuff–the lasting stuff–instead of giving in to the sweet tooth of my soul.
Do you find yourself hungering and thirsting for things that won’t satisfy instead of craving righteousness above all? How do you train your palate to righteousness?