Hunger and Thirst For Righteousness

Recently, I ordered a Ribeye Steak at a restaurant I will not name (it rhymes with Shout track). Normally, I do not have a problem getting what I order. I order a Ribeye at this steak house and I get a Ribeye.
Not this time.
This time I got a Sirloin.
I’m no butcher, but I can tell the difference between a Sirloin and a Ribeye.
Nevertheless, I took a bite of the steak and it confirmed my thinking. I had received a Sirloin. I told the waitress I had received a Sirloin instead of a Ribeye and she took my plate back to the kitchen.
I thought the problem would be taken care of.
Instead, the manager came back with the same steak the waitress had just taken away. She said, “No, this is not a Sirloin. It is a Ribeye. See the marbling on the steak.”
I looked hard. I did not see the marbling.
She continued, “You just got a piece close to the end of the cut.”
Now, unless the end of the cut of a Ribeye is a Sirloin, I did not get the end of the cut of Ribeye.
Why bother sharing this story? I tell this story because, far too often, this world is telling us we are getting a Ribeye but all we are getting is a Sirloin. It is constantly substituting the truth for a lie. It sells us a lie. When we question the lie, they reassure us that the lie is true. And eventually we give up and eat the Sirloin as if it is a Ribeye. And if we are really imaginative we might even convince ourselves that we have indeed eaten a Ribeye.
But we are not happy. We try to talk ourselves into believing we are happy. We try to convince ourselves this is the good life.
But something is missing.
And no matter how much money, possessions, positions, or relationships we participate in there seems to be something missing. Life is not what we thought it would be. We ordered happiness and got something far less than we expected.
Many Christians come to me and say, ‘I want to succeed’ or ‘If I only had more money.’ Many have said, ‘I want my relationships to work.’ Many have said, ‘I just want my kids to be good kids.’ On and on you listen to what they want. And you find that what they think will make them happy are the same things the world has told them will make them happy.
But few people have said to me, ‘What I really want, more than anything else is to be a righteous person. I want to be right before God.’
In Matthew 5:6, Jesus said, “Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed, for they will be filled.” Jesus says, ‘Happy is the person who wants righteousness above everything else. They will be satisfied.’
One of the great tragedies of our day is that many Christians have lost their appetite for the Ribeye of the spiritual life. They do not want righteousness above everything else. They do not hunger and thirst for it.
Righteousness seems to be out of style, more like a trendy food than a vital necessity. Righteousness is viewed like vegetables. Yes, they are good for you and they have nutritional valve, but I would prefer to have the cake any day. I’ll eat the vegetables, but don’t expect me to like them as I like cake.
The spiritual passion for the Lord is just not there. There is no delight and excitement about living in a relationship with Him. There is no driving passion for the Lord. Many simply are not consumed with the spiritual passion for God.
I once asked some students this question: Is righteous living in style?
‘Of course not,’ they said.
‘Why not?’ I asked.
‘Because righteous living is no fun,’ they said.
I’m going to be honest, that is the way many, many people view righteousness. They are not hungry and thirsty for righteousness. They really aren’t all that interested in it at all. Their too busy believing the real Ribeye is out there in the world.
I don’t know if you realize this are not but Jesus is promising you satisfaction. He is promising that you will get what you want if you want the right thing. I don’t think I can say this enough times: You will only find satisfaction in this world and the next if you want the right things.
If you want the wrong things, it will only destroy you. Except you won’t realize it is destroying you because you will think you are securing your own happiness. You think you are getting a Ribeye by pursuing the things of this world. After all, didn’t the world tell you it was a Ribeye? The reality is you are getting so much less.
Until you realize the good life is the righteousness life, you will forever be stuck eating Sirloin thinking it is something more.


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