Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6 NIV
Even too much of a good thing can turn bad . . . and my hunger did. In fact, I was always hungry.
Once I lost my baby fat, I slimmed down and became as skinny as a rail. I stayed that way throughout school and into my young adult years. A good thing. Because my appetite raged. Every couple of hours, and sometimes sooner, my stomach growled, and I headed to the food pantry to find something to eat. I blamed my ability to eat often and a lot on my high metabolism. But, whatever it was, I enjoyed it.
In those years, my eating was more unhealthy than healthy. I loved junk food. Around forty, things changed—but not my appetite. It remained. I stayed as hungry and as often as I always had, but the scales changed. And so did the shape of my body. What I once wished would happen—that I would gain a little weight—occurred, but more than I wanted. No longer could I eat as much as I wanted, or what I wanted, without it affecting the scales and my waistline.
Now, at retirement age, I eat less, and I eat more healthy than unhealthy food. I’m not worried about where I’ll go after death, but neither am I anxious to die.
Two of our grandsons were once just as I was, especially the younger one. When we kept them, we heard “Meme (or Pop), I’m hungry” throughout the day. We fed him. Thirty minutes later, we listened to his request again. At this point, both remain skinny as their mother and I were. But the day will probably come when too much of a good (or bad) thing will be bad for them, too.
But when it comes to righteousness or right living, too much of it can never be unhealthy. Jesus said those who hunger after the right things will be happy. Living right satisfies, but it’s not the norm. Since we’re born with a sinful nature, we naturally hunger for unhealthy things—and not food, although we could throw that in the mix.
When we accept the offer of Christ’s forgiveness for our sins, He makes us right in position—but that doesn’t mean we’ll always act right in practice. And we often don’t, despite our best efforts. Hungering for right living, however, will keep us focused in the right direction.
Staying close to God through prayer, Bible study, meditation, fellowship with other believers, and reading good books will keep us hungry for the right things. By hearing and seeing God’s instructions in print and through example, we’ll be challenged to hunger after God things, not worldly things.
Not developing an appetite for sinful things also proves beneficial, as does staying away from people and things we know are weaknesses for us and will present a temptation. Good friends will also hold us accountable.
A healthy fear of God helps, too—not fearing He will zap us every time we mess up, but reverencing Him for who He is, for the power He possesses, and for the love He has shown to purchase our salvation.
Develop a good hunger, but for the right things.
Prayer: Father, give us a hunger for right living.
Tweetable: Do you hunger for the right things?
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