The new you… satisfied!
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)
A few days ago, we talked about how need creates the opportunity for satisfaction. Until we have a need, there can be no satisfaction.
Jesus touches on this vital issue with this glimpse into the Kingdom of God.
Jesus is addressing two things here…
One) Need can be satisfied either by good things or bad things. For instance, when I am really hungry, I can fill my belly with a healthy, nutritious meal… or I can fill my belly with a gallon of ice cream. In both cases, my belly is stuffed… but the benefit to my body is radically different! The healthy, well-balanced meal provides a lasting satisfaction. The meal of ice cream only brings brief, momentary satisfaction (not to mention some unpleasant “benefits” later). Very soon my need returns and I am back to seeking satisfaction for my hunger.
Two) It is part of the ways of this world to seek satisfaction without need. In other words, we tend to be controlled by the things we want – and constantly live to satisfy those wants (often seeing wants as needs). We can quickly fall into the trap of living by our appetites, rather than our needs – which leads us to chase after many things that are unhealthy, even dangerous, to our bodies (and souls). Our unhealthy habits, our addictions, our commitment to our unbridled pleasure, all fall under the canopy of pursuing our appetites. Though we know we really shouldn’t do the things we do, they have a pretty powerful physical (and psychological) hold over us that keep us, to varying degrees, enslaved to our wants and appetites.
The problem with this is that so much of what we seek, to satisfy our appetites, doesn’t satisfy us for very long. Have you ever noticed that we tend to need more of what we want to get the same level of “satisfaction” in our lives? This escalating cycle IS the pattern of this world. We end up having to have more (or better) to try and get the “satisfaction” we find ourselves craving.
And that is just the point. Before long, we find our appetites creating a need within us that can only be satisfied by things that cannot satisfy. But by then, we have a real battle on our hands. The roots of our appetites and addictions can run pretty deep. So deep, in fact, that many people really struggle with any hope to ever escape their endless grasp.
But there is hope! It is found in becoming a new person.
Here’s the thing…The old you (caught in all your appetites and addictions) cannot be fixed. But you can be new. You can live free.
That’s what Jesus came to offer you. You were made to be free. He came to make you free! And freedom is, above all else… satisfying!
Prayer focus: God, help me to see my appetites and addictions for what they are – and to seek to live by the new life you have provided for me.