Hungering for Righteousness
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” – Matthew 5:6
I knew a guy in college who was a little different. He always seemed to have a smile and an uplifting word for everyone. He was always ready to help someone in need and truly seemed to enjoy it. He didn’t do it to make friends or win people over. It’s just who he was. He enjoyed sharing the love of Christ with people.
Today’s passage brings another blessing from God: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
As I’ve mentioned in previous weeks, these things mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount are truly blessings from God for those who have faith in Jesus and this passage is no different.
So, we must first understand that this passage is not talking about our righteousness before God. Our righteousness before God comes completely from Jesus, even though we don’t deserve it. That’s the grace of God, that even though our lives don’t always show righteousness (or maybe even seldom show it), we have been clothed in the righteousness of Christ and, thus, when God looks at you, He sees one who is perfectly righteous. Amazing!!
This frees us up. Instead of constantly worrying about how we are before God, we are now free to love our neighbor and that is what this passage is talking about, a hunger and thirst for righteousness among our fellow man. It is that we seek to do that which is right according to God’s ways in the various situations God has put us in. We seek righteousness as parents to our children, employees in the workplace, neighbors in the neighborhood, and so on. This means we seek not only to do what is right and just in terms of our actions but seek the good of our neighbor. When we see our neighbor being mistreated, we act to defend and protect.
This isn’t always easy. Often the world greets our good works and kindness with ingratitude, mockery, or even contempt. The passage tells of the blessing that we will be satisfied. That satisfaction doesn’t come from the world but from God. It’s the satisfaction of knowing good was done to the glory of God. It’s the satisfaction of knowing that others may have been helped or even brought to faith. It’s like the guy I knew in college. His satisfaction at the end of the day wasn’t how people responded to his kindness, but simply knowing that he had been kind and shared the love of Christ with the people he saw that day.
God creates in us a desire to do what is right and seek the well being of others. He then gives us great satisfaction in doing it, even when the world is indifferent or worse. What a wonderful blessing!
Thank you for making us righteous in Your sight. Help us to hunger and thirst for righteousness with all those we meet. When others respond with ingratitude or contempt, renew us and help us to persevere in satisfaction that You give, that we may continue to love our neighbor and bring glory to Your name.