Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
When we are hungry or thirsty, it is very difficult for us to
think about anything else. No matter what we may need to be
focusing on, many times our hunger or thirst can keep us distracted
from our work or responsibilities.
Why is this the case? Why is it so difficult to focus on anything
else when we’re feeling hungry or thirsty? Hunger and thirst are not
just feelings that we can turn off at will. Yes, we may be able to ignore
them for a while, but eventually they have to be addressed. The
reason for this is because they are needs. We have to have food. We
have to have water. And ultimately, if we aren’t meeting these needs,
our bodies will tell us and our needs will have to be addressed lest
something worse happen to us.
In Matthew 5:6 Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and
thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Many times in the
past I have read this verse like so: “blessed are those who starve for
righteousness.” However, that is not what Jesus says. He says blessed
are those who feel hungry and thirsty for righteousness just as they
would for food and water.
People who hunger and thirst for righteousness don’t wait
until they are starving to satisfy that need. They feel the need just as
they would with physical hunger and thirst, and they satisfy it. What
Jesus is teaching us is not that we starve ourselves, but that we
regularly - and even daily - sense our need for righteousness, just as
we would with physical hunger and thirst. And the promise that
follows is that we will be filled.
This week, think about your need for righteousness. Does it
feel like hunger and thirst to you? If so, it will be hard to ignore and
should even distract us from other responsibilities. Don’t ignore that
need. This week, fill yourself with the righteousness of Christ.