The new you… a new hunger and thirst
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)
The older I get, the more difficult it is to keep my weight in check. Part of the problem is that I like to eat. And I especially like to eat foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars. And that is the problem… I LIKE to eat those types of foods. So to address my weight issues, I need to change the way I eat. But that is proving way easier said than done.
Now, as anyone will tell you, when you are trying to adopt a different diet lifestyle, you have to re-train your body (and taste buds) to like the new. Have you ever tried to eat pancakes without flour or sugar? Believe me, that’s a whole new taste sensation – and not one that I like very much. But after years and years of the old, the new is just not very likeable! I am so used to the old, that the new doesn’t feel (or taste)… right. I have to develop new likes – for the good of my health, and to ward off many of the issues that can become so prominent in our later years.
In a very real sense, this is what Jesus is talking about when He mentions hungering and thirsting for righteousness. We have become so used to doing what we want, that really living for God seems strange to us.
A very basic definition of righteousness is… right actions with right motives. And how do we define what is right? We look to God. What are God’s actions and motives towards us? They are always right. They are always motivated by love. They always seek to help someone else. They give. They comfort. They meet needs. They seek out the hurting. They offer hope to the hopeless. They seek to make others’ lives better.
Jesus came and displayed Who God really is… and He was loving, caring, gracious, compassionate, forgiving, and committed to the truth. And at His heart, Jesus hungered and thirsted for these things. He was consumed with doing what was good – even to the point where it seemed like He was disobeying God in the process (see His encounters with the Pharisees, when He healed on the Sabbath!).
We have all grown up in a world that has emphasized being satisfied by collecting and consuming various things. Jesus came to teach us, and show us, about how to find true satisfaction.
To be truly satisfied, we have to hunger and thirst for opportunities to give of our selves, for the benefit of others around us. We do not seek to get – we seek to give. And we give because the Heart of God beats within us. The love of God compels us, drives us, and creates the need within us.
And in the giving, we find that we actually are receiving… a true satisfaction that flows from God’s Own Heart into ours!
Prayer focus: God, help me to hunger and thirst for righteousness.