Hunger hurts me. It hurts to the point that sometimes I start to feel sick and nauseous. I get weak and shake sometimes too. I cannot focus well when I feel pangs of hunger. Dehydration is a mean enemy! We can live without food a good time but cut off my liquids and all gets crazy pretty fast! What would it look like if we had a real hunger and thirst for righteousness?
We all know none of us are righteous, not even one, so what’s it mean to be righteous? It means to strive to be like the only righteous One, Jesus. Maybe the best description is to be the opposite of sin? This is quite a goal that can even seem unattainable and it is just that: impossible! We cannot be anything like God unless we surrender, give ourselves over and ask for God’s will to be done. It’s then that God’s righteousness begins to grow in our lives. This is certainly a process as we are all sinners. I think most of us are afraid of righteousness. Our culture uses this word to mean judgmental but it doesn’t mean that at all here. We think if we strive to live like Jesus all these crazy things will happen and we don’t want to be weird. We’ll never know the blessings God has for us if we live our own way.
So what’s it mean to be blessed? The word blessed used in the Sermon on the Mount is from the Greek word makarios, which means to be happy or blissful, but it also means a self-contained happiness. Righteousness brings a beauty into the heart that even others can see. It’s a true peaceful contentment that only the Godly know. When we seek after righteousness this is our blessing. What if we sought after righteousness the same way we seek after food and drink? What if there were righteousness cafes where we can fill up on what’s good and pure and holy? Our world seems to offer the opposite so we have to take the reigns and responsibility for our own spiritual walk in righteousness. It will not fall in our lap or overcome us in a worship service. This happens as a constant hunger and partaking of God’s Word, prayer and spending time alone with God. Jesus did these things and was the epitome of righteousness. We think we don’t need to do these things too? Sometimes we are responsible for our own blessings or shortcomings.