Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Scripture gives us a metaphor for our spiritual growth in that we know and see as children while we are children. In my natural childhood, I have seen this manifest in some pretty silly ways. It was often the case when I was a child that I did not want dinner for dinner. Instead, I would dream about sweets being the whole meal. I can remember fantasizing about being an adult and living on my own and having all the cake and ice cream I want for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Having no wisdom regarding nutrition, I thought that would satisfy. Had my mom allowed me just one day to indulge in this fantasy, I would have learned the harsh reality that my idea of delicious fare would do nothing but leave me empty and wanting real food.
Those who are spiritually mature also should have a mature appetite. When we talk about spiritual food, it is about more than that which we know will satisfy us. It is about understanding whether we indeed have an appetite for those things. When Jesus talks about hungering and thirsting for righteousness, this paints a picture of an empty person chasing that which he or she knows will be filling. It is not a picture of someone stumbling upon God’s righteousness and casually taking a taste. This is about a pursuit that is born of a healthy spiritual craving. Like the collector who needs that one precious object to complete the collection, the one that justifies flying halfway across the world and paying a king’s ransom just so that it can be possessed, that is how God wants us to chase this food He calls righteousness.
I used to spend hours tracking down that one pair of sneakers that would make my running take off. I would check reviews and look for deals and negotiate with myself regarding whether driving two hours would be worth saving six dollars in shipping. The search seemed worth it because I thought my running truly would benefit in a big way from those shoes. I wonder how many times I ever put that much energy and planning into acquiring God’s righteousness. I wonder whether there are times when I forget that possessing God’s righteousness is infinitely more valuable than any of the temporary objects I thought were worth the energy and expense. Father, keep it fresh in our minds that acquiring your righteousness is necessary spiritual nourishment that should be a priority among the things we seek.