“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 6:6, New Revised Standard Version).
I yearn for a time when we treat each other with dignity and respect. I hunger for a time when our citizens and our leaders support each other. We see glimpses of it but it always seems to happen in times of tragedy. In the days immediately following the Oklahoma City Bombing, most people on both sides of the culture wars came together. The same can be said in the days following 9/11 and the Columbia explosion. It doesn’t take long before the support we share with one another in those times of tragedy turn to finger pointing and blame. I thirst for a time that we can come together and it not be in a moment of tragedy.
I am not trying to sound naive. Like so many, I have my political views too. I have tried to keep them off these posts but have not been as hesitant to share them in other places. I still have my opinions. Some of them may be right and others may be wrong. I know many of my friends (and family too) see my opinions as right while others believe I am absolutely wrong. And, in all honesty, I feel the same way about many of their opinions too.
These relationships, however, seem to have a real difference from what is central in the culture wars in American society today. We lack love, we lack tolerance. Again and again, in posts on social media I see some on the right making comments that are attacks against those on the left. But, for you folks on the liberal side of the spectrum, the attacks coming from that said are just as bad. What is happening today in our society is not helpful to us moving forward together.
Our scripture today says “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” We cannot claim that we seek righteousness, that we hunger for righteousness or thirst for righteousness when cannot reach out to each other in love. We love to claim we are a Christian nation but the way we treat one another flies in the face of what we say we believe.
I can be tolerant of my friends on the other side. I can sit down and have reasonable conversations with them, even in places where we don’t agree. We can sit down, have a serious discussion and end the conversation walking away as friends. I find that a great deal more difficult to do with those I wouldn’t think of as friends. Yet those are some of the very people Jesus calls on me to love. Perhaps those are the very people Jesus calls on me to love first, perhaps even to love most. No one ever said this was going to be easy.
If I want to be blessed, if I want my life to be filled, I have to seek righteousness, not only with those where I happen to have agreement. If I want my life filled, I have to hunger for righteousness among a far greater number of people than those I have in my close circles, people with whom I have built relationships. If I want to be filled, I have to thirst for righteousness even with those people whose views can push my buttons and perhaps even sometimes make me angry, because God calls me to love them too.
I hunger and thirst for righteousness. What I really need to do is let that show in more aspects of my life than just among my friends and family. I need to let it show in the love for all God’s children.
What are you doing to show you hunger and thirst for righteousness?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Peace,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.